Treadwell Pitches Alaska Testbed to Unmanned Aircraft Global Conference
May 14, 2014, Orlando, FL – Alaska is not just a testbed for unmanned aircraft, but also a strong local market for the industry, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell told an audience of 2000 aerospace industry leaders from around the world.
Treadwell invited participants in the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) 2014 conference, which met in Orlando this week, to use the new test site in Alaska, which includes the Arctic, partners in Hawaii and Oregon, and Iceland.
Treadwell said Alaska has taken the lead on developing air traffic control, and estimated the addition of thousands of jobs to the state from companies investing and testing in Alaska, as well as from applications of the technology.
“Alaska has a strong aviation community and aerospace know-how,” Treadwell said. He mentioned uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) from search and rescue, research, wildfire, and monitoring pipelines and wildlife.
“Alaska has also taken a leading role in protecting against abuses of this technology,” Treadwell said. “We are making it our priority to guard liberty and privacy.”
Treadwell thanked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for choosing Alaska as a testbed, and for continuing to apply what has been learned here about safety and privacy around America.
Following the conference, the lieutenant governor participated in a press conference with multiple other Alaskans who have been involved with bringing UAS technology and industry to Alaska, including: Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins; Marty Rogers, director for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute's Alaska Center for Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration (ACUASI); Rosanne “Ro” Bailey, range manager ACUASI; Joe Jacobson, director of the Division of Economic Development in Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
Treadwell and Mayor Hopkins pushed for using unmanned aerial technology to bring business to Alaska.