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Fri, Aug 10, 2012

Indiana, Ohio Partner To Pursue FAA UAV Test Site

Officials Say Bi-State Effort Creates A Competitive Advantage

Indiana’s National Center for Complex Operations (NCCO) announced the state'ss new partnership with Ohio Wednesday to pursue a designation as one of the six FAA UAS test sites. The NCCO is Indiana’s lead organization for coordinating access to the state’s defense assets for military, government and non-government customers. The two states see great advantages in leveraging their combined assets to compete against more than two dozen other states.

According to the FAA, the research done at the test sites will help the agency develop regulatory standards to foster Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology and operational procedures. It will also add to the data the FAA needs to eventually permit routine UAS operations in the National Airspace. “We’re optimistic that our combined assets make this bi-state partnership very competitive,” said Mathew J. Konkler, Executive Director of the NCCO.

Growth in the multi-billion dollar unmanned aerial systems industry is expected to skyrocket in the next decade. It is anticipated that by winning the test-site designation, new jobs will be created by contractors who locate or expand their presence in the two states and from spin-off jobs created by this growth. From an economic development standpoint, pursuing the joint partnership is a win/win proposition for both states.

“We know that Indiana’s premiere assets including Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC) and Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center (CAJMTC) coupled with access to restricted airspace complement what Ohio brings to the table,” added Konkler. He also cited the ease of entry and low operational costs compared to other competitors.

The FAA is expected to make the selections late in 2012 and for the first site to be operational in 2013.



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