Yesterday, Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio's 10th District held a field hearing at Sinclair Community College to discuss the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems.
Congressman Turner chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces. He says the reason for the hearing was two-fold: to assess how safely Unmanned Aerial System can be integrated into domestic airspace, and what opportunities that would provide the Miami Valley.
"Here in our community we have Air Force Research Labs," says Turner. "We also have Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that's been a leader both in developing technologies, but also applying them to airspace safety. So, we want to know that they're at the table because that helps our community have a leg up in bringing some of these jobs to our area."
Clearly, officials like Turner believe that a growing Unmanned Aerial Systems market could be an economic driver for local communities.
Joining Congressman Turner on the panel was Congressman frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, Brad Wenstrup of Ohio District 2 and Paul Cook of California. Witnesses at the hearing included representatives from the Department of Defense and other military personnel. They included:
- Mr. Steven Pennington, Director of Bases, Ranges, and Airspace, and Executive Director for the Department of Defense Policy Board on Federal Aviation
- Colonel Patrick Tierney, Director of Aviation for the Department of the Army
- Mr. Dyke Weatherington, Director of Unmanned Warfare & Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Office of the Secretary of Defense.