FAA Reauthorization Act Extends ASSURE UAS Program and Establishes ASSUREd Safe

The FAA Reauthorization Act 2024, signed by President Biden last week, marks a significant milestone in the advancement of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology and safety. Among its provisions, the extension of the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), FAA’s Center of Excellence for UAS programs, stands out as a crucial initiative driving innovation and collaboration in the UAS industry.

Senator Roger Wicker, the senior senator representing Mississippi and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, championed this legislation.

“Mississippi State University continues to be a leader in the FAA’s Centers of Excellence program for unmanned aircraft system research,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. 

“This legislation will keep the university at the epicenter of aviation innovation, and I am proud to have supported it.”

Mississippi State University is recognized as the leading university for the ASSURE program and has played a pivotal role since the program’s foundation.

“I have had the privilege of being involved with the ASSURE program since its inception, and it has been truly remarkable to witness the growth and significant impact the program has had on the UAS industry,” said Dr. David Shaw, Provost and Executive Vice President at Mississippi State University. 

“From the outset, the program’s mission has been clear: to provide high-quality research and support to autonomy stakeholders, both domestically and internationally, in order efficiently, safely and integrate autonomous systems into the national and international infrastructure.”

Comprised of 29 of the world’s leading research institutions and more than a hundred leading industry and government partners, ASSURE is at the forefront of UAS research and development.  With a comprehensive portfolio spanning from small drones to large-scale UAS, ASSURE members contribute invaluable expertise across various research domains.

The extension of the ASSURE program aligns with the overarching goal of supporting the growth of the UAS market into its multi-billion-dollar potential. By conducting research that prioritizes safety, effectiveness, and efficiency, ASSURE aims to facilitate the seamless integration of UAS alongside manned aircraft worldwide.

“ASSURE is not only about advancing technology, but also about increasing commerce and enhancing overall public safety and benefit,” said Col. Stephen P. Luxion, Ret., Executive Director, ASSURE FAA Center of Excellence for UAS. 

“As we continue to navigate the complexities of UAS integration, I am thrilled to see the great work of the ASSURE program persist and evolve. Together, we are shaping the future of autonomous systems and paving the way for a safer, more interconnected world.”  

The FAA Reauthorization Act has also established a pivotal credentialing authority within the FAA’s program of record known as ASSUREd Safe. This national credentialing authority, which will be housed at the Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Mississippi State University, will provide essential services such as standards development, education, and testing tailored to equip first responders for diverse emergency response operations.

The Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), FAA’s Center of Excellence for UAS programs, encompasses 29 of the world’s premier research institutions and over a hundred leading industry and government partners. ASSURE members play a central role at four FAA UAS test sites, lead four FAA research centers, and have a multitude of UAS ranging from small drones below 55 pounds to the larger UAS at any US academic institution at 1800 pounds. visit: assureuas.org

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Source: assureuas.org