FAA says no to Indiana-Ohio drone testing site

INDIANAPOLIS - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Monday Indiana will not be one of the places testing drones for the federal government.

Indiana had entered a joint bid with Ohio hoping to land one of the testing sites, likely at Camp Atterbury.

The FAA will use the six locations to develop policies for the drones, small unmanned vehicles that could be used for commercial purposes.

The FAA announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies. Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia will host the research sites, the agency said.

The Indiana Office of Defense Development responded to the FAA’s decision Monday. Here’s what executive director Duane Embree had to say:

“While we are disappointed with the FAA’s decision to not select the Indiana and Ohio UAS (Unmanned Air Systems) Center and Test Complex for designation as an FAA Test Site, Indiana and Ohio plan to continue moving forward with the Indiana and Ohio UAS Center and Test Complex and to capture the potential economic benefit of UAS activities. 

The Indiana and Ohio UAS Center will operate seven diverse test ranges throughout Indiana and Ohio to support state, local and federal governments as well as private companies and universities in their UAS research and development.

The Indiana and Ohio UAS Center will continue to host the NASA Air Operations Challenge next April to demonstrate safely operating UAS in shared airspace with cooperative and uncooperative air traffic. The challenge is designed to promote safety technology such as sensing and avoiding other aircraft.”

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