Governor Bryant Congratulates MSU on being Selected as the Unmanned Aerial Systems Center of Excellence


Jackson, Mississippi — May 8, 2015 — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today has selected Mississippi State University as the location for its Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Center of Excellence.  At the civilian academic center, Mississippi State University will lead 13 other universities in helping the FAA research methods to integrate UAS into the national airspace.
“The FAA’s decision recognizes that Mississippi State University and the state of Mississippi are already leaders in unmanned systems.  Mississippi has years of experience in UAS manufacturing, R&D, and testing, which has positioned the state as a national leader in this growing sector,” Governor Bryant said.  “The Mississippi congressional delegation, Mississippi Development Authority and my office have been heavily involved with this process for the last year. Today, we are thrilled with the FAA’s decision.”
The Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) coalition of 13 universities that Mississippi State University will lead includes:

  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Alaska – Fairbanks
  • Embry Riddle
  • North Carolina State
  • Drexel University
  • Kansas State University
  • University of Kansas
  • Wichita State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Montana State University
  • New Mexico State University
  • University of Alabama – Huntsville

Mississippi is home to three UAS manufacturers, Aurora Flight Sciences, Northrop Grumman and Stark Aerospace. The state also features varied and abundant testing opportunities for unmanned systems.
ASSURE will collaborate with government agencies and industry partners to solve challenges the emergence of UAS has created recently.
Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 which required the FAA to establish a UAS Center of Excellence.

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