Sun Valley. Agriculture. Blue Turf. Perhaps the actor Aaron Paul. When you think about Idaho, aerospace expertise and infrastructure may not be among the first things that come to mind. While many consider us a flyover state, Idaho is responsible for several aspects of innovation, expertise and technology that has created the aerospace industry we know today. Beyond this legacy, our state is quickly becoming a leader in the fast-growing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) field of tomorrow.
Idaho is uniquely qualified to support and advance the UAS field – attributes we’ve focused on sharing throughout this site. Whether it is the Idaho National Laboratory’s more than a decade of leadership in the field, the wide-ranging research capabilities of Idaho’s higher educational institutions or the strength of its aeronautics businesses, the Gem State offers substantial resources and expertise. We’re also seeing new applications for this technology emerging in several established industries and service sectors throughout the state, from agriculture to public safety to habitat monitoring.
In early 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced plans to select six states as national UAS test sites by the end of this year, and we’ve put Idaho’s name in the running for this opportunity. Following the leadership of the Idaho Unmanned Aircraft Systems Working Group, we are actively pursuing this designation to be an integral part of what is expected to grow into an $89 billion industry within the next 15 years.
We encourage you to learn more about Idaho’s distinct capabilities to support UAS and how public and private entities are using this technology to improve and enhance life throughout our state. Additionally, we will be hosting the first ever Idaho Unmanned Aircraft Systems Conference in early 2014, and encourage you to join us. Be sure to visit our site to learn more about the conference timing and speakers in the coming weeks.
Together, with the help and support of Idahoans, our working group and the state legislature, Idaho is quickly becoming one of the best states for UAS. Idaho offers a distinct aeronautics legacy and proven resources for research, development and testing. Please join us in supporting our efforts to grow the UAS industry by encouraging businesses and the FAA to land here.