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In a speech to the Aero Club of Washington April 27, Northrop Grumman CEO and President, Wes Bush said that that the conditions are right for unmanned aerial systems to contribute to the nation’s economy but that American manufacturers are at a disadvantage in the global marketplace because of outdated and restrictive export regulations.
“Let me be clear: Export restrictions are hurting this industry in America without making us any safer,” said Bush.
Bush, who is also AIA’s vice chairman, applauded the wide bi-partisan support and passing of the FAA reauthorization bill that mandates the drafting of a plan for the integration of unmanned aircraft into civil airspace. The bill authorizes the integration of UAS into national airspace no later than September 2015.
Northrop Grumman’s unmanned Global Hawk just marked its tenth anniversary this month and has not only supported military efforts but also helped battle forest fires in California in 2007. Bush elaborated on the multi-purpose potential of UAS, explaining that they “provide a new level of adaptability that has saved military and civilian lives alike and promises to save more in the future.”
Bush closed by emphasizing the importance of the Defense Department’s efforts to reform the export control system and encouraged individuals and companies “to support such organizations as AIA and AUVSI in their efforts to educate and reassure the public about the potential of UAS integration into civil airspace.”
AIA Source: ashley.gudzak[at]aia-aerospace.org