This post originally appeared on http://www2.ljworld.com/r/303/614512/.
[Editor’s Note: Under Bob Brock’s guidance, Kansas hopes to become a national leader in the drone industry.]
TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that retired Air Force Col. Bob Brock has been named as the state’s first-ever director of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or “drones.”
Brock will oversee the making of policies and procedures for operating drones in Kansas. During his Air Force career, he worked in UAS operations and training. He also served as a flight safety officer and instructor pilot.
The Federal Aviation Administration recently adopted new regulations for operating UAS in civilian air space. Those regulations go into effect Aug. 29.
“Our team will work very closely with the FAA, universities and aviation leaders to deliver systems that make Kansas safer, provide economic growth and also save time and money,” Brock said.
Brock, originally from Pittsburg, served 22 years in the Air Force before retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He will maintain offices at KDOT headquarters in Topeka and at the recently renamed Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in Salina, which has a nationally ranked UAS program.
“Bob has extraordinary experience with UAS and will play a pivotal role in helping develop our program in Kansas,” KDOT Secretary Mike King said. “Under his guidance, the state will become a national leader in the industry.”
Brock said his priorities will include protecting the privacy and public safety of Kansans as drones become a larger part of the commercial aviation industry.