UAS Testing Center

A retired Air Force drone is used in the classroom at Sinclair Community College.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Supporters of drone development are anxiously awaiting a first draft of Federal Aviation Administration regulations expected to come out soon. Right now hobbyists can fly drones—the industry term is unmanned aerial systems or UAS—but companies are prohibited from flying them outdoors unless they have special federal authorization for individual flights. The FAA said it would release a proposed rule by the end of 2014 to regulate commercial drones in U.S.

A three-day conference on unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, starts Tuesday in Dayton. This is the third Ohio UAS conference, and the first one since the greater Dayton area was turned down in its bid to become a federal testing site for commercial drones; Mo McDonald with the Dayton Development Coalition says he still expects the industry to grow in Dayton.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has selected Springfield as the site for the Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aerial Systems Center.  The center will be the hub for Ohio and Indiana’s joint operational efforts to become a test site for unmanned aerial systems.

The Unmanned Aerial Systems Center will be housed in the Nextedge Applied Research and Technology Park which sits on the eastern part of Springfield along Route 40.

ODOT will manage the Systems Center in Springfield, which has a two-year lease that will run until June of 2015 at a total cost of $70,000.