Tuesday, August 16, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin this week is leading a delegation of Oklahomans at the 2011 Unmanned Systems North America conference in Washington, D.C. The conference is hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
Governor Fallin will be joined by business leaders, economic development officers from across the state and officials with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. The governor will speak at a reception hosted by the Oklahoma delegation and will attend meetings to seek business connections to foster growth in the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry in Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma is positioned to become a national leader in UAS and by attending this international conference we will be able to solidify and expand our leadership role,” Fallin said. “Additionally, promoting Oklahoma’s UAS industry at the conference will help us to attract new jobs and more investment and continue to grow the industry in our state.”
Oklahoma is recognized as an aerospace pioneer and is rapidly becoming a “fly-to” state for UAS research, development, testing, evaluation and manufacturing.
Oklahoma State University’s University Multispectral Laboratories owns and operates a runway/test facility that can provide access to restricted airspace for commercial unmanned aerial systems testing, according to the Department of Commerce. Also, OSU recently created the only graduate UAS degree option in the nation.
Oklahoma has 200 square miles of testing airspace from surface to 40,000 feet. The state has a formal agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Air Force to research and facilitate the future use of UAS as part of the FAA’s testing electronic navigational systems worldwide.
The state also has a multi-year contract with the Oklahoma National Guard to advance UAS training capabilities at Camp Gruber, a military training facility in eastern Oklahoma.