6 de febrero de 2018

AERONAUTICA : Buscan apoyo legislativo para mas potenciar al sector en Arizona

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Phoenix.-   An Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) used for public safety flew above the capitol grounds in Phoenix on  the 13th annual Aerospace Days at the Capitol. Hosted by the Aerospace States Association and Aerospace Arizona, the goal of the event was to educate legislators on the commercial uses of UAS, including agriculture, ranching, mining operations, inspecting large aircraft, and real estate. 

Demonstrations and displays regarding UAS uses, legislation, regulation, safety and technical issues, adorned the capitol lawn as legislators and citizens learned about the uses and economic impact of the aerospace industry, specifically as it pertains to UAS. “The goal of educating legislators is to ensure that legislation does not hamper the aerospace industry,” said Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation (AREDF) and chairwoman of Aerospace Arizona. 

Aerospace Days offered residents throughout the state an opportunity to testify before the state house of representatives and the state senate. Testimony included a briefing about the economic benefits of incorporating commercial UAS into the national airspace system and the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Kendall Christiansen, an eighth-grader at Sierra Verde Elementary School in Tucson testified before congress regarding her participation in the Moxie Girls, a STEM program with the goal to encourage young female engineers in the UAS community. 

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The event also hosted Charlie Walker, the first non-government individual to go to space, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, as guest speakers at a legislative dinner.

 Christiansen testified about the importance of computer science education, the impact of UAS on the Sierra Verde school system, and raising awareness as to what is taking place in the schools. “Basically educating or state representatives about all that is good taking place among their youngest constituents,” said Robert Lane, one of the leaders of the Moxie Girls. 

Last year, the Moxie Girls worked with a local organization to build their own UAS and learned to fly them. Lane believes the field of aeronautics — and specifically UAS — will lead to a future with “good” jobs. And by teaching these technologies at an early age, students will be better prepared for the future. “It was amazing seeing Kendall speak about her education, her teachers, and seeing her embody everything that is great about Sierra Verde STEM Academy students, what it means to be a Moxie Girl, and being an ambassador for computer science and the aerospace industry,” he said.

 The UAS industry has the potential for a great economic impact in the state of Arizona and specifically in Cochise County. According to the AREDF and Aerospace Arizona, Arizona is ranked number five in the country for states obtaining the most economic gains from UAS. They also said the economic impact of incorporating UAS into the national airspace system throughout Arizona over the next 10 years is $3.4 billion in the commercial market, $15.5 million in state tax revenue, and 4,260 jobs created. 

Recently, the mayor of Benson signed Resolution 1-2018 partnering with Aerospace Arizona to apply for a Federal Aviation Administration UAS test program and encouraged UAS operations at Benson Airport.

 According to the resolution, the Benson City Manager is authorized and directed to work with the Aerospace Arizona Association, Inc. for Section 5311 grant funding related to advanced UAS operations safely. 

The city manager is also directed to work with Aerospace Arizona Association Inc. in the ongoing encouragement, coordination and development of continuing UAS opportunities. And AREDF plans to become the hub for the aerospace industry. “We’re focused on the commercial side because that is what drives the economy. Industry drives the economy, and the commercial side drives the industry,” Hollis said. 

 By making it cheaper and easier for small businesses in the UAS industry to test their products, she believes it will encourage more start up companies in Cochise County.


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