New Jersey selected by FAA as one of test sites for unmanned aircraft system

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

USGS photo / The William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center will be the lead facilitator of data collected from six test sites working to safely integrate unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. USGS photo / The William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center will be the lead facilitator of data collected from six test sites working to safely integrate unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. FAA Technical Center to be 'lead facilitator' for data collected from six test sites natiownide

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo on Monday, Dec. 30, applauded the announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration that a joint application by New Jersey and Virginia for creating one of six sites nationwide for testing unmanned aircraft has been selected.

LoBiondo, working with Gov. Chris Christie, led the New Jersey’s congressional efforts to secure the designation.

“Today’s announcement is a great way to kick off the new year, promising significant economic opportunities in the aviation field particularly for South Jersey,” said LoBiondo, chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee. “A years-long effort has been spent on putting forth the strongest application – including forming a solid working partnership with Virginia – to ensure the FAA recognized our existing assets for this project.

“I appreciate Gov. Christie’s unwavering support throughout the process as well as the efforts of my congressional colleagues and those working on the ground in South Jersey on our proposal.”

The joint application was put forth by Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) and Rutgers University with support from the governors of New Jersey and Virginia.

The other five test sites selected by the FAA are in Alaska-Hawaii-Oregon; Nevada; North Dakota; Texas; and New York.

Unmanned aircraft systems test sites will operate until February 2017 with the first site being operational within 180 days of the Dec. 30 announcement.

The William J. Hughes FAA Technical Center will be the lead facilitator of data collected from each of the six test sites, working to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace, as mandated by the 2012 FAA Authorization Act – a provision LoBiondo advocated during the bill’s drafting and debate.

While each test site will have specific regulations to protect the privacy of surrounding residents and businesses, Congress continues to evaluate legislative options to address concerns about civil liberties posed by unmanned aircraft, also known as drones.

“The outstanding partnership between New Jersey and Virginia, between Govs. Christie and McDonnell, between Rutgers and Virginia Tech and various state and private entities made for a winning result,” LoBiondo said. “Our cooperative efforts, in conjunction with the FAA Tech Center in Egg Harbor Township, will continue as our test site takes off and commercial unmanned aircraft systems open up new economic opportunities for our states.” 


blog comments powered by Disqus