UVU bidding to own the skies: Aviation department heads alliance to become FAA test facility for domestic drone use

By Jonathan Boldt

OREM — The Federal Aviation Administration is pushing for institutions to bid on becoming training sites for a congressionally mandated test facility that will develop future regulations on the domestic and civilian use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Systems.

There will be six test facilities in different locations, and Utah Valley University is headlining an alliance with an aggressive bid that will be awarded this summer.

The dean of the college of Aviation and Public Services Wayne Dornan, Ph.D, is excited to be on the forefront of the rapidly changing field of aviation and spoke out on the attempt to secure a spot as one of the few test facilities to develop regulations on the private, domestic and military use of these unmanned aerial vehicles.

“The alliance that we have formed to go after this test facility is called the Mountain West Unmanned Systems Alliance or MWUSA. It’s comprised of universities who are doing research and development on UAS and private industry as well. UVU is the lead institution so we will be the ones that are guiding all of this, so we are pretty excited about it,” Dornan said.