Open for business: FAA-designated center will test unmanned aircraft

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence & Innovation has met federal requirements to begin full operations as a research test site for unmanned aircraft.

In December, the Federal Aviation Administration designated the center as one of only six test sites and approved it as operational on June 20.

“We are excited to welcome the flourishing industry of unmanned aerial systems to South Texas,” said Flavius Killebrew, President/CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “Our research in this important area is boundless.”

The test sites are designed to collect data for the FAA concerning the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace, which is expected in 2015.

The center is a consortium of 16 research institutions and private-sector service companies led by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station with Camber Corporation as lead systems integrator. The center is supported by the Texas Governor’s Office of Aerospace, Aviation and Defense.

Research institutions involved include Texas A&M University, Southwest Research Institute, the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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