The U.S. military is moving into the skies over Utah.
The military has begun deploying drones to support its aerial operations, and it’s making a big push to build up its drone operations, too.
But there are some serious hurdles to getting drones flying in Utah, including a lack of a state law on the books, a lack on the part of the government to set up an air traffic control center and other hurdles.
We have some real issues that need to be addressed,” said Utah Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican.
Jordan and Rep. Matt Lee, a Democrat, are introducing legislation that would make Utah one of at least eight states to have a state-based law that would allow for drones flying above U.T. missions.
The bill has bipartisan support, but there’s still work to be done in Congress.
Utah has not had a statewide drone program since 2015, and in the meantime, the state is struggling to develop and deploy the infrastructure for its own drones.
The state’s current drone regulations are set to expire at the end of March.
That means the military will have to start from scratch.
Utah has had a long history of developing unmanned aerial systems, but the technology is still in its infancy.
That’s why Jordan and Lee are introducing the bill to try to make Utah the first state in the country to have state-specific regulations on drones.”
It’s an important step forward to put Utah ahead of the curve and to create a clear regulatory framework for drones in Utah,” said Lee, who represents parts of the Salt Lake City metro area.
The legislation also would give the military the ability to use drones for a limited time in Utah.
A pilot training program will help ensure Utah is ready to use them.
If Utah does end up having a state drone program, it will be the second in the nation, following California, which has a similar program.
Jordan said the state needs to figure out how to best use the technology.
We need to figure this out, and I hope this bill helps make that happen.”