Last updated: September 03. 2014 11:55AM - 1258 Views

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SPRINGFIELD — The Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (UASC) announced Tuesday it has formalized a partnership with the City of Springfield and Springfield-Beckley Airport.

Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport serves corporate, military, and general aviation customers, and is also home to military units representing the Ohio Army Guard, Army Reserve and Ohio Air National Guard Units.

The City of Springfield has aggressively pursued and supported UAS efforts in the region. The UASC and the City of Springfield are collaborating on a new precision agriculture program with Clark State Community College beginning this fall. The Associate Degree program will position students to emerge into a dynamic industry with a new and highly valued set of skills including UAS operation, remote sensing, and data processing.

SelectTech operates its UAS development facility at Springfield-Beckley Airport.

“With new UAS hanger space planned for completion this fall, the Springfield airport will be the “go to” location for academia and businesses looking to support effective and efficient UAS development and operations, ” said Dick Honneywell, UASC’s Executive Director. “We are pleased to be partnering with the City of Springfield and we believe this is a strong first step to increase UAS economic growth in the region.”

The City of Springfield is positioning the airport to host the immediate and effective development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and their subsystems. The airport property is comprised of approximately 1,800 acres encompassing a general aviation airport, 200 acre industrial park (Airpark Ohio) and a military complex, which houses the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Wing, 178th ISR Group, HQ 251st Combat Communications Group, 269th Combat Communications Squadron and units of the Ohio Army National Guard and Reserve.

“This is a natural partnership because of the proximity of both the Springfield Airpark and the UAS Center. It allows us to collaborate on local projects and it gives us the ability to share assets,” said Tom Franzen, the Economic Development Director of Springfield.

The OH/IN UAS Center is a joint venture between the states of Ohio and Indiana. The overall mission of the UAS Center is to advance UAS commercialization and support flight operations for government and agencies. It offers a mix of services and a variety of test ranges and capabilities to support research, development, testing and evaluation of unmanned aircraft Systems (UAS) technologies for businesses, government and academia. These activities will enhance economic development and place Ohio in a leadership role as FAA prepares to integrate UAS in to the National Airspace System.

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