U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) applauded Governor Terry McAuliffe Friday for establishing an Unmanned Systems Commission to examine how Virginia can strengthen its position in growing the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry.
“This technology has enormous potential to transform both the private and public sector,” said Sen. Warner. “Virginia, as home to some of the top defense and technology companies in the country, is uniquely poised to benefit as the possibilities of unmanned aircraft systems are realized. This Commission will focus on ways we can strengthen Virginia’s position to take advantage of all economic and technological development that this growing industry has to offer.”
Sen. Warner has long advocated for the testing and development of UAS technology, having worked with his Virginia and Maryland colleagues to urge federal officials to select the mid-Atlantic region to host a UAS test range for researching the safest and most effective ways to incorporate UAS into the existing airspace. The UAS test site at Virginia Tech – one of six such sites across the country – becameoperational last year.
In his support to establish Virginia as a center for development of this burgeoning technology, Sen. Warner also believes that we can improve integration of UAS, or drones, into the nation’s airspace through a focus on new safety technologies. Last month, Sen. Warnerurged the U.S. Department of Transportation to take a leading role to defend sensitive airspaces against possible threats posed by rogue UAS.