On Dec. 15, Congress passed legislation which calls for the creation of six UAS test sites around the country.
Arlington, VA. – Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are a step closer to being more widely used in the United States as a result of legislation Congress passed on 15 Dec. (H.R. 1540), which calls for the creation of six UAS test sites around the country.
AUVSI Chairman of the Board Peter Bale said, “the creation of these test sites will mark the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long process eventually leading to a common-day occurrence – manned and unmanned aircraft flying safely and seamlessly together in the national airspace.
“I applaud Congress’ foresight on the important role UAS can play for our economy and public safety, and I encourage the FAA to expeditiously set up these test sites with the input from the unmanned systems community.”
Previously, UAS have been limited to flying in military restricted airspace or in very limited areas with the prior approval of the FAA. Although UAS have primarily been used by the military to date, the civil and commercial applications of this revolutionary technology is almost limitless. Once UAS prove they are able to safely fly in the national airspace, AUVSI projects UAS will commonly be used for border surveillance, agriculture applications, suspect tracking by law enforcement, traffic monitoring and accident scene investigation, disaster response, infrastructure monitoring, wildlife monitoring, power and pipe line monitoring, real-estate mapping and movie production, to name just a few.
AUVSI is the world’s largest non-profit trade association dedicated to the unmanned systems industry with 7,000 members. AUVSI’s advocacy efforts were instrumental in getting these test sites approved by Congress.