Rep. Claeys Initiates Kansas UAS Research Triangle With KDOT Aviation, K-State Polytechnic
Salina, Kans. -- Rep. J.R. Claeys this week had a proviso added to the budget that will create the Kansas Unmanned Aircraft Research Triangle between the state's research universities, including Kansas State Polytechnic in Salina.
"The new UAS Research Triangle will offer opportunities for growing industry in the region and right here in Salina," said Claeys. "Combining the strengths of each of our university programs to compete will result in more wins across the state."
The proviso directs the new director of unmanned aircraft systems in the Kansas Department of Transportation to focus industry development efforts in the corridor between Kansas State Polytechnic in Salina and Wichita State University, as well as the program at the University of Kansas. Rep. Claeys created the position of director of UAS along with KDOT leadership and Kansas research universities. The new director will be based in Salina for at minimum half of the year in space made available by K-State Polytechnic.
"This will allow the director to have first hand experience with what is happening on the ground," said Claeys. "It will allow them to better position Salina as a national hub for the UAS industry."
The Kansas UAS Research Triangle will offer opportunities for cooperation between universities and through public-private partnerships to compete for grants and private contracts as a single entity with combined efforts and resources, rather than on their own. The director of UAS is also charged with finding ways to cooperate with the Department of Transportation, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Highway Patrol to study the use of UAS in the completion of tasks within the agencies, such as bridge inspections and surveillance.
Kansas UAS Research Triangle Budget Proviso (PDF)
Rep. Claeys' proviso initiating the Kansas unmanned Aircraft Research Triangle and directing the duties of the Director of UAS in KDOT Aviation.
Kansas Unmanned Aircraft Systems Map (PDF)
A map showing the state's research universities in the Kansas Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Triangle, including K-State Polytechnic in Salina.
Rep. Claeys Speaks at Announcement of Director of UAS Position