For Immediate Release:
August 13, 2014
Office of the Governor Contact: Brian Coy Email: Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Legislators Celebrate Today’s First Flight at the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership
Governor Terry McAuliffe and Virginia legislators from across the Commonwealth released the following statements today following the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership’s First Flight ceremony at Virginia Tech . Governor McAuliffe attended the event today and witnessed some of the newest research in the aviation industry. Unmanned aircraft technology will be useful for a range of industrial and research purposes, and presents a great opportunity for job creation and economic growth in Virginia.
“Early in this process, the Commonwealth of Virginia realized how vital unmanned aircraft systems testing is for building a new Virginia economy focused on innovation, diversification, and new technology that will enable Virginia to compete on a global scale.” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “We publically pledged support to this effort, and then backed up those words with funding. It is gratifying to see our work has made the mid-Atlantic region a leader in unmanned aircraft system research.”
Legislators from across the Commonwealth weighed in on the event:
Senator Frank Wagner, Virginia Beach:
“The development of the UAV range has truly been a bipartisan effort. The FAA recognition of the great work being done by Virginia assets such as NASA Wallops Flight Facility and Virginia Tech's hard work in securing the designation puts Virginia in the driver's seat to take advantage of the full economic potential of this exciting new technology. This year, the General Assembly funded a dedicated UAV runway at NASA Wallops Flight Facility to expand Virginia's capabilities. Governor McAuliffe's leadership has been, and will continue to be instrumental in realizing the full potential of this emerging industry.”
Senator John Watkins, Powhatan:
“As Virginia faces looming federal spending cuts, I am glad to see Governor McAuliffe stepping up and supporting an emerging industry with the potential to create thousands of high paying jobs. Thanks to the hard work of our universities, our private partners, and our federal supporters Virginia has a strong competitive advantage in this field.”
Senator Lynwood Lewis, Accomack:
“As the home of one of six federally-approved Unmanned Aerial Vehicle test sites, Virginia will play a dominant role in this exciting new industry. I commend Governor McAuliffe for his efforts to push these technologies forward and to attract high-paying jobs to our Commonwealth. Thanks to the hard work of the McAuliffe Administration and many other public and private partners, we will soon see new and growing companies testing their vehicles in the 6th Senate District.”
Delegate Joseph Yost, Giles:
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Governor McAuliffe and his team for the work they have done to ensure that Virginia takes its place as a central player in this new and exciting industry. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are a key building block of a strong, diversified Virginia economy. I look forward to working together to help these technologies get off the ground.”
Delegate Monty Mason, Williamsburg:
"I would like to thank Governor McAuliffe for his leadership promoting this important industry. These aerial vehicles represent a crucial high-tech, growth industry for the Commonwealth and the Virginia Peninsula. From the research and development to the manufacturing this 21st Century industry provides high paying jobs for Virginians and solutions that will aid multiple industries."
Delegate Sam Rasoul, Roanoke City:
"This is an exciting day for innovation, and I applaud Governor McAuliffe's leadership in bringing cutting edge technology as well as new economic opportunities to the region. With this new partnership, innovators and researchers will have the ability to improve and develop systems of the future in a safe, transparent, and collaborative environment. That's a major win for the Southwest Virginia and all Virginians."