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APLU & AAU Statement on Representative Hultgren’s Amendment to FLIGHT R&D Act that Protects Research Efforts Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Washington, DC – The Association of American Universities (AAU) and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today released the following statement in support of Representative Randy Hultgren’s amendment to H.R. 4489, the FLIGHT R&D Act, which would prevent FAA regulations from impeding university research and development activities that involve small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).

“APLU and AAU thank Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL) for introducing his amendment to H.R. 4489, the FLIGHT R&D Act. We support Representative Hultgren’s amendment, which would prevent the FAA Administrator from promulgating any rule or regulation regarding small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) that are flown strictly for research and development (R&D) purposes. This amendment is critical to the work of colleges and universities which seek to conduct a wide range of research and educational activities involving sUAS.

“Examples of this diverse and important work include developing new and improved sUAS, as well as research and teaching in areas as varied as animal health, plant toxicology, entomology, engineering, architecture, sustainable nutrient management, soil science, biogeochemistry, and aerospace engineering. We greatly appreciate Representative Hultgren’s recognition of the importance of such R&D and educational initiatives, not only to higher education, but also to our nation’s innovation economy.”

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