Though Utah was not selected by the Federal Aviation Administration as an Unmanned Aerial Systems test site location, the state continues to be supportive of efforts to research and develop UAS technology.
“Utah was appreciative of the opportunity to bid on the recently awarded FAA UAS test sites. While we were not selected, Utah is well positioned to be supportive of the continued development of unmanned systems, both air and ground, in the coming years,” said Marshall Wright, aerospace and defense cluster director at GOED. “The state intends to continue to be actively supportive of its growing unmanned systems industry and the companies that are making a profound contribution.”
The FAA test sites will be used to develop rules and regulations that will eventually permit commercial integration of unmanned aircrafts into the National Airspace System (NAS). The creation of test sites is in response to the congressional mandate that the FAA commercially integrate UAS into the National Airspace System by 2015.
Unmanned Aerial Systems are comprised of operators, hardware, software, and unmanned aerial vehicles. All of these components work together to enable safe, coordinated operations of the vehicles. Uses for UAS range from agricultural to search and rescue. UAS will redefine many industries by carrying out dangerous or menial tasks.
Unmanned aerial systems are a significant component of Utah’s aerospace industry and will be part of its future moving forward. The aerospace industry currently employs more than 10,000 Utahns and has generated billions of dollars in revenue for the state.