Governor DeWine Announces Ohio Air Force Lab Will Be Site of Groundbreaking New Tech

Gov. Mike DeWine, along with several other senior Ohio and military officials, announced Friday that Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport would be the test site for a new and revolutionary aviation system.

DeWine was joined in his announcement by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and Major General William Cooley, Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

The new system will be run and overseen by the Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center and AFRL. A press release from DeWine’s office described the new technology as follows:

This month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that new technology developed in collaboration between AFRL and the State of Ohio – called SkyVision – safely, accurately, and effectively allows unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”) to detect and avoid other aircraft while in flight. Simply put, SkyVision can be described as an air traffic control system for drones.

The main point of concern is that, per FAA rules, no individual or organization can operate a drone in the U.S. outside of the line of sight of the user. This study will test drones well outside of the line of sight of the user, but still within a 200-mile radius.
“As our country steps more and more into the unmanned age of flight, this technology is on the forefront of the aviation frontier, making Ohio a critical national asset for the research and development of UAS technology,” DeWine said. “This also opens the door for commercial companies to work with Ohio, AFRL, and the FAA to test their own UAS-related technology using our SkyVision detection system. This is a major step in revolutionizing the transportation industry, with Ohio leading the way in aerospace, defense, and aviation innovation.” 

The drone test flights will take place at an altitude range of 1,000 feet above ground to 10,000 feet above sea level. They will be operated by air traffic control experts from the Ohio UAS Center. Currently, as this program is still in a testing phase, there is no data on job creation or potential wealth generated for the Buckeye State.

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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected].
Photo “Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport” by Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.










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