Research Partner, University of Alabama at Huntsville and Huntsville International Airport Work Together to be Selected as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Detection and Mitigation Research Program Test Site

In September 2020 the FAA published a solicitation for airport operators interested in hosting the agency’s “Airport UAS Detection and Mitigation Research Program.” Under the program, FAA plans to evaluate at least ten unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) detection and/or mitigation systems. The purpose of the solicitation was to select four eligible airport operators to host these FAA testing and evaluation activities based on specific criteria outlined in the solicitation document.

Huntsville International Airport, in partnership with the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) submitted a proposal to the FAA in the Fall of 2020 encouraging the FAA to select KHSV as an airport operator host for one of four FAA testing and evaluation sites based on the airport and community meeting and exceeding the criteria outlined in the FAA’s solicitation letter. Given Redstone Arsenal’s capabilities related to UAS and the capabilities available in this community to address detection and mitigation of UAS, both militarily as well as commercially in the civilian world, the team believed Huntsville International Airport to be an ideal candidate for this selection.

Today, the FAA announced that Huntsville International Airport has been selected as one of the four airports selected to host a UAS Detection and Mitigation Research Program Test Site.

“Huntsville International Airport is honored to have been selected by the FAA as one of four airports across the U.S. where they will establish UAS Detection and Mitigation Research Program Test Sites”, said Rick Tucker, Huntsville International Airport CEO. “We applaud this decision by the FAA and look forward to hosting a test site at our airport. We are grateful to our partner UAH, to industry partners like COLSA, QuantiTech and Dynetics and to city, county and state leadership for their support and vital roles in this endeavor. We especially want to express our appreciation to Senator Richard Shelby for his efforts regarding HSV’s selection and for his continued support of Huntsville International Airport as we both work to move Alabama forward.”

KHSV offered the FAA a committed community and a concentration of high-tech resources focused on UAS research by Academia and Industry alike. The airport is served by diverse colleges and universities, high-tech industries and research centers. Within the city of Huntsville are the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama A &M University (AAMU) and technical and community colleges.

“UAH is proud to be a research partner with the Huntsville International Airport in providing the ideal site for the FAA to test and evaluate detection and mitigation technologies for Unmanned Aircraft Systems”, said UAH President Dr. Darren Dawson. “UAH will leverage its creative and innovative spirit to advance research in UAS operational and threat applications for the FAA as a committed research partner.”

Jerry Hendrix in UAH’s Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center has been working with Huntsville International Airport on this effort for over two years”, said Dr. Bob Lindquist, UAH Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

“This project will allow UAH to leverage its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) expertise and engage with the FAA and aviation organizations with superior UAS engineering, research, integration and test capability from all across the United States. UAH is becoming a national leader in UAS research with our UAS work with ASSURE, NASA, DHS and DOD research and our ever-expanding technology exploration in this area.”

More details can be found on our KHSV Supplemental Site by clicking here.

Huntsville International Airport Contact:
Jana Steen
Public Relations Manager
Huntsville International Airport

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