Hawaii vies to be named test site for drone program – Pacific Business News

Link: http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/print-edition/2012/04/27/hawaii-vies-to-be-named-test-site-for.html

Why is Senator Espero encouraging spy drone center in Ewa?

“Hawaii is one of the places competing to be named as a test site that would allow drones to share airspace with commercial aircraft.

The FAA expects to select the sites this year and have the first one operational in 2013.

“It’s not just about the companies [that make the aircraft], it’s about jobs and all this [economic] type of stuff,” said Jeff Williams, president and CEO of Ewa Beach-based Williams Aerospace.


Williams Aerospace makes drones with wingspans ranging from two to 10 feet, with the larger version being able to carry up to 55 pounds.

State legislators have drafted resolutions in the house and senate in support of getting a testing center and advancing Hawaii in the aerospace industry. No money has been allocated at this time.

“Hawaii is the perfect location to do this testing,” said Sen. Will Espero, D-Ewa Beach-Waipahu. “We have all the major branches of the military located here. We have mountains, valleys, country, city and a vast ocean of emptiness around us. We have all the main ingredients.”