Will drones be coming to Grays Harbor? We will find out today.
We will find out today if Grays Harbor will be used to test drones as part of a nationwide plan to expand research facilities.
In April, plans were released that a group of Washington organizations, including some from Grays Harbor, submitted a proposal for the Pacific Northwest Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Center in Eastern Washington to be named as one of six U.S. testing facilities.
Innovate Washington worked with ten other partners to be selected as one of the six locations to bring unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system.
The proposal identified Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake as the location of the flight center’s principal office and facilities. In addition, the proposal identifies several locations in Central and Western Washington where testing may occur. The proposal incuded a testing range over the Pacific Ocean near Grays Harbor for those developers needing “blue water” testing capability.
The organization members include the Ports of Grays Harbor and Moses Lake, Washington Army National Guard, economic development agencies in Grays Harbor and Klickitat counties, and several other state agencies.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 calls for establishing six unmanned aircraft system research and testing sites in the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta will hold a conference call today to discuss the agency’s selection.