Oklahoma poised to gain from unmanned aircraft systems

BY MICHAEL TOSCANO Published: January 16, 2013
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Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma are national leaders in UAS-related research and development. But before this potential is realized, there are still hurdles to clear. The Federal Aviation Administration has already delayed by several months the process for selecting six UAS test sites for which Oklahoma wants to compete.

In order for the economic benefits of UAS to be realized, the FAA must with no further delay begin the test site selection process and adhere to the overall integration timeline that Congress has estab-lished.

Fortunately, Oklahoma is represented in Congress by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, champions for unmanned systems technology, who could be instrumental in keeping the process moving forward. With their help, and the continued efforts of Gov. Fallin, this technology is ready to take off — and bring Oklahoma's economy along with it.

Toscano is president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics.