Americas FAA Test Sites

UAS center partners with Wilmington Air Park


Tristan Navera

In another expansion of unmanned aerial systems efforts, the state’s UAS center is partnering with one of its most active ranges for flying drones.

The Ohio/Indiana UAS Center has formalized a partnership with Wilmington Air Park to support flying of drones on that range. The UAS center says the agreement will lay the groundwork to support business growth and development in the drone world.

The Air Park has been an active site for the flying of drones, with both Sinclair Community College and the Air Force Research Laboratory using the airspace to fly the craft. They have obtained permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to test several models and train on them.

“The Ohio/Indiana collaborative efforts reinforce the region’s commitment to being a major player in the evolving UAS industry,” said Kevin Carver, executive director of the Clinton County Port Authority. “Wilmington Air Park has been designated as one of the region’s key sites for UAS research and development”

It’s one of two big sites locally where drones are being flown — with the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport being the other. Springfield signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAS center this month supporting UAS development there, as well.

It could also bring in more drone activities to Wilmington. The UAS Center is hosting a challenge hosted by NASA to test drone aircraft, and Ohio’s test ranges could be sites of some of that activity, officials have told me.

“We are working with the FAA to expand the number of certificates for authorization and research organizations flying at Wilmington Air Park as we develop added infrastructure to support a safe and cost- effective research and development environment,” said Dick Honneywell, executive director of the UAS Center.

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