May 08, 2015

Wyden Praises FAA Selection of UAS Excellence Center

Oregon State University part of new FAA research center

Washington, DC – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., welcomed today’s Federal Aviation Administration announcement that a consortium including Oregon State University has been chosen to be a Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Wyden urged the FAA in an Oct. 16, 2014 letter organized by Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. to select the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) Consortium, which includes OSU.

“Unmanned aviation carries huge potential to support a thriving industry and Oregon stands in the middle of the action with FAA test ranges in Pendleton, Tillamook, and Warm Springs as well as many companies working on this promising technology,” Wyden said.

“Today’s great news confirms that Oregon State University has a huge leadership role to play in the growth of this exciting and job-creating industry,” he said.

The new Center of Excellence will identify current and future issues critical to safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS).

“Integration of UAS into the NAS is vital to ensuring the United States continues to lead the world in the development of UAS technology,’’ Wyden, Cochran and 16 other senators wrote the FAA in their Oct. 16 letter. “Advancing the critical research needs associated with UAS commercial development and integration will provide both strategic and economic benefits to our states and the nation.”

Other consortium members besides OSU include Mississippi State University, Drexel University; Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; Kansas State University; Kansas University; Montana State University; New Mexico State University; North Carolina State University; University of Alabama, Huntsville; University of Alaska, Fairbanks; University of North Dakota; and Wichita State University.

A copy of the FAA release is here.