Hoeven, Warner Launch UAS Integration Working Group for FAA Pilot Project States

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) today announced they are launching a new bipartisan UAS Integration Working Group in the Senate to support the six unmanned aerial systems (UAS) test sites designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test UAS for integration into the National Air Space.

Hoeven and Warner sent a dear colleague letter to the senators representing the six states hosting the designated test sites inviting them to join the group. In addition to North Dakota and Virginia, the six test sites include Alaska, Nevada, New York and Texas.

“We write to invite you to be a part of the bipartisan UAS Integration Working Group,” Hoeven and Warner wrote. “While each of the test sites will have unique goals and objectives, we share a common interest in their success. We intend for this working group to serve as a point of contact between the Senate and the FAA and other government agencies, as well as a vehicle for gathering information, and where appropriate, advocating on behalf of the test sites and the UAS integration effort.”

The senators cited the need for “Continued attention from Capitol Hill will be required to ensure that the work performed at the test sites is translated into progress toward the goal of integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace.”

The FAA Reauthorization bill passed by Congress in 2012 includes an amendment introduced by Hoeven that directed the agency to establish the test sites and integrate UAS into the National Airspace System. Hoeven’s amendment instructed 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 complete text of Hoeven and Warner’s letter can be seen here.