U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo, R-N.J., chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, has announced $3,467,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to the Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA) for the Cape May County airport, which supports unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) testing.
The discretionary grant to the DRBA, which operates the airport, will extend the taxiway and rehabilitate the runway.
“The Cape May County airport is very important to our region in terms of economic opportunities and future growth,” says Cape May County Freeholder Will Morey. “It is not only used for general aviation but for UAS operations and testing. We are really excited by the announcement of these federal funds and appreciate the congressman’s continued efforts on our behalf.”
LoBiondo, who addressed the crowd at last year’s Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International event in Atlanta, has long spoken out in support of advancing the country’s UAS industry. Last year, he provided the keynote address at a Cape May County UAS symposium.
“Over the past decade, we have made substantial improvements to South Jersey’s community airports, which have helped create opportunities for more businesses, more jobs and more economic growth in our region,” says LoBiondo, adding that an example is the budding UAS industry, which is “directly tied to the airport facilities and the further potential it holds.”
Last year, for example, researchers from the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership used the airport to test out detect-and-avoid technology on an RS-20 drone.