By: Joe Cogliano, Senior Reporter
U.S. Rep Mike Turner is leading a Congressional group in lobbying the FAA for one of six unmanned aircraft test sites.
The letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center & Test Complex meets FAA requirements and will be carried out in close proximity to a unique and powerful team of FAA partners.
This includes Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA Glenn Research Center and the Naval Surface War Center Crane Division.
“These facilities and their extensive contractor base hold key technologies needed for the integration of UAS into the national airspace,” the letter said.
Turner, R-Dayton, signed the letter along with 17 others including House SpeakerJohn Boehner and U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.
The group also touts the economic impact of naming the Ohio/Indiana coalition as a test site.
“Because of the large aerospace manufacturing sector already present in Ohio and Indiana, the selection of our proposal stands to provide high job gains in the region,” the letter said.
Led by the Dayton Development Coalition, the region has been working hard to get one of those sites. DDC officials say several volumes of the proposal were submitted starting and March and the final volume was submitted Monday. Now the FAA will start the evaluation process.
Right now testing of the craft — also known as UAVs or UAS’ — is done on a limited basis under restricted conditions, so getting the Dayton area designated as a test site would make it much easier to fly and thereby draw a whole crop of companies dedicated to designing and manufacturing the aircraft and other related products.