Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Local Organizations Partner to Form Mountain West Unmanned Systems Alliance
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, in cooperation with Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems, Utah Valley University and the Utah Film Commission, have united to form the Mountain West Unmanned Systems Alliance (MWUSA).
The organization’s main goal is to establish Utah as a viable hub for commercial use of unmanned aerial systems, or “drones.”
“We want to make the State of Utah the example of responsible commercial use of unmanned aerial systems,” said Ryan Wood, Marketing Manager of Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems and President of the MWUSA. “There are so many applications for these vehicles that can have an immediate impact on the local economy and public safety in general.”
On February 15, the FAA released a “Notice of Proposed Rule Making” (NPRM) to change the current FAA rules and regulations to allow commercial operations for small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) under 55 pounds. This long anticipated NPRM for sUAS is a major shift in the FAA’s present policy on unmanned aerial systems, which prevents commercial use of unmanned aerial systems in all but a few specific instances.
When the proposed rules go into effect, the FAA will allow licensed unmanned aerial systems operators to conduct commercial flights with vehicles under 55 pounds as long as several guidelines are followed, such as a observing a flight ceiling of 500 feet above ground level (AGL) and keeping the vehicle within the operator’s line of sight.
According to Forbes magazine, the Unmanned Aerial Systems industry will have a $13.6 billion economic impact within three years of adoption of the proposed FAA rules. A large amount of that impact will be to the benefit of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Mountain West Unmanned Systems Alliance membership is comprised of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the Utah Film Commission, Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems, Utah Valley University and several local film and video production companies.
MWUSA board member Marshall Wright, of GOED, said that MWUSA is currently reaching out to qualified local public agencies, educational instructions and private companies for membership opportunities to the MWUSA.
“With the number of potential commercial and public safety applications of unmanned aerial systems, there are so many businesses and organizations that can benefit. We’re excited to be at the forefront of this upcoming industry,” said Wright.
Qualified entities interested in MWUSA membership may reach out to Ryan Wood of Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mountain West Unmanned Systems Alliance (MWUSA)
Mountain West Unmanned Systems Alliance (MWUSA) is a partnership with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the Utah Film Commission, Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems, Utah Valley University, and key industry stakeholders. The goal of MWUSA is to help coordinate efforts to establish Utah as a viable hub for UAS industries, resulting in high end job growth, increased and enhanced research opportunities for higher education, and sustained economic impact. It will also support significant research, development, testing and training in the various disciplines associated with unmanned aerial systems in particular and unmanned systems in general.
About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business destination. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission. For more information on GOED’s aerospace and defense cluster, please contact: Marshall Wright, 801-538-8710, or email@example.com.