Eastman Campus Continues UAV Research Despite FAA Decision

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014 2:20 PM
Category: School of Aviation

Macon, GA

Although Georgia was not selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a test site for drones in a recent competition among several states, this will not have a negative impact on the research and development being conducted at Middle Georgia State College’s School of Aviation.
The FAA recently selected six test sites across the country for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research. Proposals were considered from 24 states, including Georgia. Research will be done at the test sites to determine the necessary requirements for the operational use of UAS in the national airspace system over the next several years, according to the FAA’s website.
While Georgia was not selected as a test site, MGSC’s School of Aviation remains committed to its mission to serve the needs of MGSC, Georgia, and local economic development, said Chad Dennis, the UAS Program Coordinator with the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace, which has an office on the Eastman campus, home of MGSC’s School of Aviation.
“At MGSC our focus has always been the success of our students and community,” Dennis said. “As we move forward with developing UAS certificate and degree programs, it’s our shared responsibility to ensure our students have quality jobs waiting for them.”
MGSC ensures the success of its aviation students partly through the Institute of Applied Aerospace Research (IAAR). The IAAR supports the development and application of aerospace ideas by industry, Dennis said.
“It has long been our philosophy that if the aerospace market in Georgia is strong, then job opportunities for our graduates will be abundant,” Dennis said. “Most of our labor comes from student interns that have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the latest in aerospace concepts and technologies, which gives those students a distinct advantage when competing for high level aerospace jobs.”
MGSC’s current UAS research flight operations are being conducted with the approval of the FAA through the awarding of Certificate of Authorization’s, Dennis said.
“Although most of our research meets the needs of the FAA, it has never been our intention to redevelop our entire state structure to simply acquire a designation as one of the six UAS test sites,” Dennis said. “Our current structure serves the needs of the college, state, and industry.”
MGSC will continue to work closely with the FAA in future research flights, Dennis said.
“We will continue to conduct research flights while closely working with the FAA to share information ensuring the safety of our skies,” he said. “We will continue to grow and expand our UAS efforts and capabilities while allowing the needs of industry and our students to drive our focus.”
For more information, contact Chad Dennis at cdennis@mgc.edu or (478) 374-6712.