U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Caucus, today announced that Kansas is one of the top ten states predicted to see enormous economic and job creation impact as production of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) increase. In the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) report titled Economic Benefits of UAS Integration in National Airspace, Kansas is ranked #7, with a total projected economic impact of $2.941 billion and an estimated 3,716 new jobs created between 2015 and 2025.
"The economic impact the UAS industry will have for Kansas is immeasurable, and this news underscores the fact that Kansas is making incredible progress in UAS' emerging aviation enterprise," Sen. Moran said. "Kansas already boasts the necessary attributes to manage UAS activities: airspace for UAS operations; multiple airport support facilities; university research and development on sensors, airframes, and engines; university flight and operations training; and avionics development and manufacturing capabilities. The FAA still has much to do to make certain UAS is properly incorporated and accounted for in our national airspace, but the future for UAS in Kansas -- the Air Capital of the World -- is bright."
The greatest area of growth indicated by the report will be in precision agriculture, which is slated to grow 10 times that of the public safety market for UAS. Precision agriculture use of UAS refers to two segments of the farm market: remote sensing used to scan plants for health problems, growth rates and hydration; and precision application of needed pesticides or nutrients in order to save money and reduce environmental impact.
The price of operating UAS is a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft, and Kansas is on track to rank 8th for UAS manufacturing by state for agriculture uses by 2015. Total economic impact of agriculture spending on UAS in 2015 is slated to be $75 million, with 772 new jobs created.
The study reports that the manufacturing jobs to be created within the UAS industry in Kansas will be high paying ($40,000+) and require technical baccalaureate degrees.
As the role of UAS grows, research and development of these technologies becomes more important. Two week ago, Sen. Moran met with the FAA to discuss the integration of UAS in our national airspace and the progress being made in the development of UAV technology at Kansas State University (K-State) Salina's UAV laboratory. K-State's Unmanned Aircraft Systems program is recognized as one of the top five programs in the nation.
"Important partnerships developed in UAS Working Group in the state of Kansas help bridge stakeholders such as the Salina Airport Authority, K-State Salina, the Kansas National Guard and many others to make Kansanss pioneers in the field, and what will make Kansas a leader in the UAS industry,"Sen. Moran said.