This post originally appeared on UAS VISION.
[Editor’s Note: $300,000 was invested to support the development of a UAS range for training and testing.]
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced an investment of $300,000 to support the development of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) range for training and field testing in the Village of Foremost.
Federal funding will support range fit-up costs, while Government of Alberta support of $100,000 will go towards business development and range management.
The Foremost UAS range will support industry and academic work in training and field testing technologies for civil and commercial applications. This initiative will result in commercialization and increased trade for Canadian companies and attract global investment. Post-secondary students, including aerospace engineers, will also receive training in UAV technology and will design the next generation UAV systems.
Information from the Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems’ (CCUVS) website said that the centre, together with the village of Foremost, has established the Foremost Centre for Unmanned Systems, based out of the village’s aerodrome. The village was strategically chosen due to its geography, which “has unique attributes that make it an ideal location for the operation, development and training for UAS.” For example, visual flight rules (under which a pilot operates in weather conditions clear enough for flight) are ideal “90% year round,” there is a mixed short grass ecosystem void of trees and forested areas, and a sparse population.
“With 700 square nautical miles (2,400 square kilometres) of airspace designated for up to 18,000 feet above sea level, the Foremost Centre for Unmanned Vehicles opens up significant training, research and development possibilities for both Canadian and international companies,” the statement said. “CCUVS will have the ability to close the airspace when approved flight operations are taking place, thereby significantly reducing any safety risks.”
“The Government of Canada is committed to creating regional advantages in Western Canada. This project is achieving this priority by helping businesses strengthen their global competitiveness and will equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in the next generation of UAV systems.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
“The Foremost Unmanned Aircraft Systems Range will provide a unique space for innovators to develop, test and commercialize high-tech products to improve made-in-Alberta products we can market to the world. Innovating, training and collaborating in support of sustainable resource production, agriculture, environmental monitoring means more new jobs and a more diversified economy. This is our Jobs Plan in action.”
– The Honourable Deron Bilous, Minister of Alberta Economic Development and Trade
“The Village of Foremost would like to extend our appreciation to the federal and provincial Governments for their contributions and efforts of their staff which have made this possible. This contribution by Western Economic Diversification Canada and Alberta Economic Development and Trade is a key part in moving the Foremost Unmanned Air Systems Range forward. This will be a great benefit for the Unmanned Air Systems Industry in Canada.”
– His Worship Ken Kultgen, Mayor for the Village of Foremost
Source: Press Release