Boccieri: Northeast Ohio Ripe For Production, Maintenance Of Unmanned Aircraft
Lawmaker, pilot believes Valley can become manufacturing hub for new aerospace technology

On the heels of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) release of finalized rules for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) last week, State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), a military and commercial pilot, said that the federal government’s support for innovation in this growing industry can help Northeast Ohio bolster its production and maintenance of aerospace technology. 

A state committee organized to help promote the aerospace industry, the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee, heard last Thursday from small businesses and manufacturers who envision Ohio as a thriving hub for unmanned aircraft research and production.

“I’d like to see the Mahoning Valley position itself for future development in this growing industry,” said Boccieri. “The Youngstown Incubator has a reputation for helping small startup companies and the market for commercial use of unmanned aircraft is about to explode. There is real potential here.”

UAS, or drones, are employed mainly by the U.S. military for combat operations. However, the potential for their commercial use is set to reach new heights. From Amazon deliveries to disaster area oversight during emergencies such as the current West Virginia flood, drones can serve a wide variety of commercial and government purposes.

Home to NASA Glenn Research Center, large manufacturers like Parker Hannifin – which makes jet-engine components – and smaller companies building satellite guidance systems, Northeast Ohio plays host to several potential growth spots for the UAS industry. In addition, public universities might see opportunities to expand research in areas such as liquid crystal at Kent State University or engineering at Youngstown State University.

Rep. Boccieri said that he sees schools like the Valley's Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics (PIA), which trains aviation mechanics, as part of this potential growth as well.

“Drones must be repaired or serviced just like airplanes, and PIA produces mechanics who are capable technicians ready for FAA licenses,” said Boccieri. “I see great potential here in the Valley for training future UAS mechanics.”

The federal rules, set to go into effect in August, are the first to set guidelines for the commercial use of UAS devices, according to the FAA.

Featured Posts

Boccieri: BRAC Report Good First Step To Protect Ohio Military Installations


State Rep John Boccieri (D-Poland) today said that the State of Ohio’s Base Realignment and Closure’s (BRAC) Task Force recommendations are a good first step toward strengthening military assets in Ohio. The Task Force’s primary mission was to identify all federal assets, including military bases, and speak toward their value in terms of military mission as well as the economic benefit they provide to communities.


Lawmakers Concerned School Rating Overhaul Leaves Youngstown Schools Behind


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed concern about House Bill (HB) 591, a Republican-led effort to once again overhaul the state’s school report card system. The bill would leave current triggers in place for schools that are under or near academic distress—a move the lawmakers say unfairly targets districts in academic distress like Youngstown, Lorain and at least 22 other districts across the state.



Ohio House Passes Measure Urging Selection Of Camp Ravenna As Missile Defense System


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Mike O’Brien (D-Warren), Glenn W. Holmes (D-Girard) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the Ohio House for unanimously passing Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 8, which calls on the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) to select Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as the preferred site for a future east coast Missile Defense system. MDA, a sub-agency of the Department of Defense (DOD), announced its consideration of Camp Ravenna among two other locations for a potential future deployment of additional ground-based interceptors for homeland defense.