Wed, Aug 22, 2012
Letter Sent To Secretary LaHood, Acting Administrator Huerta
In a letter addressed to the Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, the president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International calls for quick selection of the six testing sites for Unmanned Aerial Systems for their integration into the NAS.
In the Letter, AUVSI's Michael Toscano makes a case for the potential for UAS in law enforcement and commercial applications. He says the aircraft can be used in missions such as pipeline and power line patrolling, agricultural spraying, and crop monitoring. He also touts the aircraft's ability to help law enforcement agencies, firefighters, and other first responders in reacting to natural disasters, inspection of bridges and other critical infrastructure, as well as taking photographs and video of accident and crime scenes.
Toscano says the public and private demand for UASs "means significant job creation potential here in the United States. A 2010 study by our organization found that the integration of UAS into national airspace could add 23,000 new jobs by 2025, and $106.6 million in wages each year." Those jobs would include UAS pilots, systems engineers, maintenance specialists, and others.
"Key to unlocking this potential and ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in UAS technology is the establishment of the six FAA test sites around the country," Toscano wrote. "I write today to request that the FAA open the site selection process without delay, so we can remain on the Congressionally-mandated schedule."
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