Utah Already Hosts NSA Compound; Wants to be Home of a Drone Test Site

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
Utah Already Hosts NSA Compound; Wants to be Home of a Drone Test Site

Utah Governor Gary Herbert is lobbying the Obama administration for his state to become one of the six drone testing sites to be established next year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In a story published by the Deseret News, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is identified as playing a lead role in convincing the FAA to choose Utah from among the other sites in 37 states vying for this distinction.

While the exact location of the site is “under wraps,” Herbert’s office is promoting the idea by publicizing the economic benefits to the Beehive State.

The Deseret News reports that “if Utah gets a drone testing site, it could bring more than 1,000 new jobs to the state.” The newspaper gleaned this data from a report published by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a drone industry lobbying organization.

The report cited in the newspaper article also claims that “Utah could see about 245 news jobs, and by 2025 it could be 1,085.”

Representing a consortium of about 7,000 drone manufacturers and operators, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International issued a code of conduct last year to help assuage fears of potential deprivations of civil liberties in the expanding use of drones.

The press release issued by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International describes the code as “a set of guidelines to provide AUVSI members — and those who design, test and operate UAS [Unmanned Aircraft Systems] for public and civil use — with recommendations for their safe, non-intrusive operation.”

“We understand as an industry that we’ve got a public relations problem,” Paul McDuffee, a director of the association who helped write the code, told the Associated Press.

A public relations problem is a mild — and perhaps callous — way of describing the problem with the proliferation of drones. As readers are aware, the use of these drones has become a popular political issue among constitutionalists and other friends of liberty.

Click here to read the entire article.

Photo: AP Images

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