Hoeven:FAA Initiates Formal Site Selection Process for UAS Test Sites

Senator Hoeven Continues to Push for Selection of Grand Forks as One of Six Sites

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun soliciting formal proposals to select six sites to test unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for integration into the national airspace. The FAA today released a Screening Information Request (SIR) online that sets forth the technical criteria on which applicants will be judged. Applicants have three months to respond to the SIR.

The FAA released its SIR to comply with the FAA Reauthorization bill passed by Congress and signed by the president last February. The law includes an amendment, introduced by Hoeven, that directs the agency to integrate UAS into the National Airspace (NAS) alongside manned aircraft. Hoeven’s amendment instructs the FAA Administrator to consider factors including geographical and climatic diversity, as well as the location of ground infrastructure, in selecting the test sites.

“The FAA’s announcement today is an important step in the process to bring one of six UAS test sites to Grand Forks,” Hoeven said. “As the premier northern UAS hub, our state’s UAS community has done an outstanding job to ensure we are well positioned to be named one of the six test sites. Today’s announcement from the FAA begins the formal site selection process.

Today’s announcement from the FAA follows meetings Hoeven has held with the agency regarding the site selection process. Hoeven has worked, both as governor and now as U.S. Senator, with the state’s UAS community to establish and maintain North Dakota’s leadership in UAS technologies and to grow UAS operations in the Grand Forks region.