Senate supports Alpena airport project
The State Senate has approved a resolution of support for the Michigan Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center (MI-UASC) project at the Alpena airport.
The resolution, introduced by Senator John Moolenaar, is in conjunction with an effort to secure one of six federal “Center of Excellence” designations for the project.
That designation would most likely lead to the development of an aerospace industry cluster for unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly known as drones.
“A Center of Excellence designation could have a tremendous impact on the economy of the Alpena area and the entire state,” said Moolenaar. “It is estimated that 200 jobs could be created and more than $50 million could be invested in infrastructure and equipment.”
The Senate’s support of the Alpena project puts it at the top of the list for Michigan airports hoping to land one of the designations, which are being awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and would grant access to restricted airspace in the Alpena area for research and development of unmanned aircraft.
Moolenaar says the local center could help bring scientists and industry leaders to Alpena “to work together, improve industry and also help keep our troops safe.”