Washington, DC – The Association of American Universities (AAU) and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today issued the following statement in support of the Higher Education Unmanned Aircraft Systems Modernization Act, introduced today by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).
The Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities thank Senators Gary Peters and Jerry Moran for introducing the Higher Education Unmanned Aircraft Systems Modernization Act. We strongly support their bill, which would allow institutions of higher education to operate small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for educational and research purposes, including the instruction of students. This bill is critical to the work of colleges and universities which seek to safely conduct a wide range of research and educational activities involving sUAS.
Examples of this diverse and important work, much of which is federally funded, include developing new and improved aviation systems, 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 Senator Peters and Senator Moran’s recognition of the importance of such educational and research initiatives, not only to higher education but also to our nation’s innovation economy.