UAV Flights Begin at Fourth National Test Site

 - June 26, 2014, 3:16 PM

Flight-test operations have begun at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site, which last week became the fourth operational site of six authorized in the U.S. by the FAA. The agency granted the university a two-year certificate of authorization (COA) to fly the 85-pound American Aerospace Advisors’ Recon System-16, based on the Arcturus T-16XL fixed-wing aircraft.

The university’s Lone Star Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence & Innovation flew its first mission yesterday at the Padre range, south of Corpus Christi, near Sarita, Texas. Tests include supporting preservation and restoration of the ocean and ocean wetlands along Padre Island National Seashore; research of approaching tropical depressions; and support of law enforcement at the national seashore, according to the FAA, which granted the first test-site COA to North Dakota Department of Commerce on April 21, followed by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks on May 5 and the state of Nevada on June 9.