Over the years, Dayton has made significant contributions tothe history of aviation.  This all began when the Wright Brothers discovered the physics behind flight, making Ohio the“Birthplace of Aviation.” Since that first flight, our region has lead the way in advancing the aviation industry.  Now we have the opportunity to once again be pioneers in aviation – this time with unmanned aerial vehicles.

The world’s first unmanned aerial system(UAS), the “Kettering Bug,” was developedbythe Dayton-Wright Airplane Company in 1918.  The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the international UAS promotional organization, was founded in Southwest Ohio in 1972. Today, much of the research and technology that goes into Unmanned Aerial Systems is developed at our own Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Earlier this week, I chaired a field hearing of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forcesat Sinclair Community College t odiscuss the future of unmanned systems in our region and across the country.  I was proud to be joined by three of my colleagues from across the country to talk about this important subject.

Congressman Mike Turner Chairs a House Armed Services Committee Field Hearing in Dayton, Ohio

While there are multiple uses for unmanned aerial systems in our national airspace, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International has recently concluded that over 100,000 new jobs could be created by 2025 through UAS use primarily in the commercial and civilian market areas of precision agriculture and public safety.

Ohio possesses a unique and powerful combination of research and development work in UAS integration, building on the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and the extensive Ohio aerospace contractor base.

Additionally, our institutions of higher education like the University of Dayton, Wright State University, and Sinclair Community College are national leaders in research, education, and training for unmanned systems. Working together, with our national laboratories and industry throughout the state and nation, these educational institutions will ensure that Ohio’s future in unmanned systems is every bit as robust as our rich history.

Congressmen Mike Turner and Frank LoBiondo Meet with Senior FAA Administrators

With the migration of UAS aircraft to the civilian sector, I am optimistic this will provide for greater competition and innovations in technology for both civilian and military missions, leading to more good paying jobs throughout our community.