breaking news

Severe T-storm watch, wind advisory in effect 

Senator: Dayton is a UAV leader

The area is poised to take the lead in unmanned aerial vehicle development — and in many ways, it’s already there, Sen. Rob Portman said Friday.

Portman met with regional business and aerospace leaders at engineering and design firm Woolpert, learning more about the company’s growing use of UAVs. He also hailed a Federal Aviation Administration decision to allow Sinclair Community College to fly UAVs at Wilmington Air Park, a former Air Force Base in Clinton County.

Portman, R-Ohio, met with Jeff Hoagland, Dayton Development Coalition president and chief executive, and Dave Hobson, a former U.S. congressman, among others.

The hope is that the FAA decision strengthens the Ohio/Indiana bid to become one of six official FAA unmanned aircraft test sites. The sites will be set up to determine how to integrate UAVs into civilian piloted airspace. Ohio and Indiana submitted a joint bid in May.

“I think it does strengthen the application,” the senator said. Sinclair has demonstrated to the FAA that it has a “world-class” UAV education program, he said.

Federal legislation 18 months ago expanded the number of potential UAV test sites from four to six, and competition is fierce, Portman noted. An FAA decision on the six sites is expected around the end of the year.

Congress instructed the FAA to consider “infrastructure and expertise,” Portman noted.

“That’s really going to help our region,” he said. “There are other areas of the country who want this badly, and have the test sites where unmanned vehicles are able to fly. But we have the expertise. And Sinclair is one reason. Another reason is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.”

Woolpert and other local contractors are another reason, Portman said.

Randy Carter, Woolpert project director, guided Portman on a tour of the company’s offices off County Line Road. Increasingly, the 100-year-old company is relying on UAVs in survey work, he said.

Traditionally, surveying work happens on the ground. By moving the work into the air, it removes workers from harm’s way and makes surveying less costly, Carter said.

“We really believe at Woolpert that the (UAV) is a technical step in the survey and mapping industry,” Carter said. “It is really going to drive that.”

Portman came away impressed. “They use aircraft and they do ground work. If they could use (UAVs), it would be more cost-effective.”

Steven Johnson, Sinclair president and CEO, thinks the FAA is recognizing the Dayton region’s assets.

“It looks like the pieces are coming together in a very important way,” Johnson said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Defense bill to benefit Springfield airport, drone research
Defense bill to benefit Springfield airport, drone research

An amendment included in a recent $700 billion defense authorization bill is expected to encourage more cooperation between the military and Federal Aviation Administration, including for work at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport. The House bill passed this week will add more planes, ships and troops at a time Pentagon leaders say the military...
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow

Your house is a large expense with many associated costs like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance and more. It provides a roof over your head, of course, but since it usually costs you money each month, why not put it to work for you and earn some cash in the process? The following are four ways your house can make you money: If you're planning...
6 things to know about working for Uber
6 things to know about working for Uber

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out. Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them...
Hatch to Sherrod Brown: ‘Don’t spew this stuff at me’
Hatch to Sherrod Brown: ‘Don’t spew this stuff at me’

Sen. Sherrod Brown and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch are garnering attention today for a yelling match they had last night at a hearing over the tax reform bill working its way through the Senate. Hatch, a Utah Republican, took umbrage at comments by Brown saying the tax bill will help the rich at the expense of the poor. &ldquo...
Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores
Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores

Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Elder-Beerman, will close at least 40 stores by the end of 2018. The retailer will shutter about a sixth of its 260 department stores, furniture galleries and clearance centers. The chain has Elder-Beerman stores at the Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Common and several others at Dayton area locations...
More Stories