Florida Continues to Support FAA Integration Efforts
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (December 30, 2013) – Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its selection of six locations as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) test sites. Unfortunately, Florida was not identified as one of those six sites.
“While we are disappointed with the FAA’s decision, we fully intend to continue our pursuit of UAS technology development in the state of Florida. We have a range and system architecture that is in place and is being utilized today for test support and UAS operations. We will move forward seeking out and assisting companies and supply chain vendors tied to the UAS industry as they locate and grow in our state – one that will support FAA efforts to incorporate UAS technology into U.S. airspace,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello.
The FAA announced its intent to develop six UAS research and test sites around the country on February 14, 2013. Space Florida, the State of Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace development organization, led the effort to propose Florida as one of those sites. The FAA now has until September 2015 to assimilate commercial UAS into our nation’s skies.
Florida was among 24 states that submitted proposals to the FAA. The interest from so many states highlights the importance of safe, prudent integration of unmanned systems into the national air space and Florida will continue to support the FAA in that effort.
Florida has a wealth of positive attributes – including a vast network of controlled airspace, simulation and research centers, skilled workforce, UAS curricula in our university systems – that made it a perfect candidate for the test site designation and continue to make Florida and ideal partner. The FAA has indicated that they will continue to work with sites that were not selected but plan to continue supporting the FAA’s integration efforts – Florida is one of those sites.
“Much of the country’s UAS industrial growth will occur outside the states selected today. Florida is still in the game. Meanwhile, we will continue to support the FAA and look forward to the significant, positive economic impact to our state that will result from continuing to participate in this effort,” DiBello added.
Florida’s FAA UAS test site offers complete capability in four Florida geographic test areas, representing the Northeast, Northwest, South, and Central sections of the state. These four areas encompass twelve ranges, providing an array of options for safe and effective data collection in support of FAA airspace integration efforts.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the market for UAS technology could be potentially worth $89 billion over the next decade. There are numerous positive applications for UAS utilization, including (but not limited to): law enforcement, border patrol, military training, search and rescue efforts, disaster relief, crop monitoring, brush fire detection and analysis of weather patterns.
On May 9-11, 2014, Space Florida will host an unmanned systems demonstration at Exploration Park (located at Kennedy Space Center), in conjunction with the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems) Conference in Orlando. Companies and individuals interested in participating in the UAS demonstrations should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.spaceflorida.gov/AUVSI2014.
About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov
Tina Lange, APR