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2019 SESSION

19104364D
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 347
Offered January 31, 2019
Commending the Center for Innovative Technology's Center for Unmanned Systems and the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership.
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Patron-- Cosgrove
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WHEREAS, Virginia is home to a unique combination of assets that establishes the Commonwealth as a national leader in all domains of unmanned systems—air, land, and sea; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has aggressively pursued the long-term success of automated vehicle systems with an approach that emphasizes inclusion, diversity, and investment; and

WHEREAS, Virginia’s geography provides extensive, open, and diverse training and testing locations that enable manufacturers and developers to demonstrate proofs of concept, acquire the data needed for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifications and approvals, and to push the envelope of autonomous vehicle capabilities in a controlled, data-focused environment; and

WHEREAS, Virginia provides an ecosystem of innovation that leverages its geographical assets, university research, federal labs, and workforce development; the Commonwealth has one of only seven FAA-designated test sites in the nation through the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) at Virginia Tech; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA selected Virginia as one of only 10 participants (from 230 proposals) in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program that will help tackle the most significant challenges of integrating drones into the national airspace while reducing risks to public safety and security; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Innovative Technology and the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership teamed with the Counties of Buckingham, Cumberland, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince Edward, and Wise, and corporate partners, Google Wing, Intel, AT&T, Airbus Aerial, State Farm, Dominion Energy, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and HAZON Solutions to successfully compete for the Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Pilot Program; and

WHEREAS, through the program, the Commonwealth will be eligible for expedited flight permission from the FAA to perform some of the most complex unmanned vehicle flight testing ever attempted in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Virginia’s success in securing this FAA pilot program is the latest evidence of the Commonwealth’s dominance in the growing field of unmanned systems technology; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate of Virginia, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the Center for Innovative Technology’s Center for Unmanned Systems and the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, and the entire team of corporate and local government partners on successfully submitting a proposal and winning the U.S. Department of Transportation Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Pilot Program; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare copies of this resolution for presentation to the Center for Innovative Technology’s Center for Unmanned Systems and the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for their work to promote the Commonwealth of Virginia as a leader in unmanned systems technologies.