February 13, 2013
By Jim Moore
Pilots in Ohio and the surrounding region have been invited to participate in an effort to plan the introduction of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System.
The Dayton (Ohio) Development Coalition is developing a UAS integration plan, hoping to capitalize on a confluence of existing aerospace resources including U.S. Air Force and NASA facilities and the growing demand for unmanned aircraft for various missions. The coalition hopes to build on those assets, attracting UAS development and production to Ohio, and integrating the unmanned aircraft safely in the National Airspace System while “doing no harm” to existing aeronautical operations is the key challenge.
Ohio’s congressional delegation is meanwhile pressing the FAA for a status update on a mandate to integrate unmanned aircraft by 2015, and expressing concern that deadline will not be met.
The development coalition team has worked with the U.S. Air Force to identify and define UAS operational requirements, and invites the general aviation pilot community to participate in the planning process over the next six months. The Dayton Development Coalition will host an informational brief for pilots to provide additional background, explain the deliberate planning process, and lay out the schedule for future meetings. The coalition plans two more working group meetings to review requirements and current uses and generate alternatives for possible airspace changes. The informational brief is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 at The Tower Club, Pentagon Tower, 3500 Pentagon Blvd. in Beavercreek, Ohio.
Pilots who plan to attend are asked to RSVP to Clifton Dunn by email.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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