Sen. Warner files amendment to double drone research funding

unmanned aircraft droneU.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) to the FY19 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) portion of the ‘minibus II’ spending package that would provide $6 million towards unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research to safely integrate them into the national airspace.

Currently, the FY19 T-HUD base bill makes $3 million available as matching funds for companies that partner with the UAS test sites working towards integrating UAS into the national airspace. Sen. Warner’s amendment would boost UAS research funding levels to $6 million. The text of the amendment can be found here.

“This amendment will ensure we continue supporting advancements in the safe and responsible integration of unmanned systems in our airspace. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure we provide the necessary funding towards research and development of this cutting-edge technology so that the U.S. can maintain our competitive edge,” said Sen. Warner.

Sen. Warner has been a strong supporter of research and investment in unmanned systems, including driverless cars, drones, and unmanned under water vehicles. He has introduced bipartisan legislation designed to advance the development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and build on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) efforts to safely integrate them into the National Airspace System. Virginia is home to one of seven FAA-approved sites across the country where researchers are testing the safest and most effective ways to incorporate UAS into the existing airspace. In May 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) announced the selection of Virginia to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

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