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Full Text of this Amendment

SA 41. Mr. BAUCUS (for himself and Mr. TESTER) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 223, to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

Strike section 320, and insert the following:
SEC. 320. UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS.
(a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall develop and implement a plan to accelerate the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the National Airspace System. The plan shall--
(1) create a pilot project to integrate unmanned aerial systems into the National Airspace System at 4 test sites in the National Airspace System by 2012;
(2) create a test and development center to research new applications for unmanned aerial systems in the National Airspace System through a partnership with public universities and private industry;
(3) create a safe, nonexclusionary airspace designation for cooperative manned and unmanned flight operations in the National Airspace System;
(4) establish a process to develop certification, flight standards, and air traffic requirements for such unmanned aerial systems at each of the test sites;
(5) dedicate funding for unmanned aerial systems research and development for certification, flight standards, and air traffic requirements;
(6) encourage leveraging and coordination of such research and development activities with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense;
(7) address both military and civilian unmanned aerial system operations;
(8) ensure the unmanned aircraft systems integration plan is incorporated in the Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen Air Transportation System implementation plan; and
(9) provide for verification of the safety of the unmanned aerial systems and navigation procedures before their integration into the National Airspace System.
(b) Test Site Criteria.--The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall take into consideration geographical and climate diversity in determining where the test sites authorized under subsection (a)(1) are to be located.
(c) Unmanned Aerial Systems Test and Development Center.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall designate, through partnerships with State public universities and private industry, an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Test and Development Center that focuses on the development of new commercial unmanned aircraft systems. The Center shall focus on--
(A) the use of biofuels and alternative fuels to power the unmanned aerial systems;
(B) the applied research of commercial applications of unmanned aircraft systems, including the application of such systems in forest and wildfire management;
(C) the application of such systems in agriculture and livestock management;
(D) the application of such systems in wildlife and predator management; and
(E) the application of such systems in a maritime and gulf environment.
(2) LOCATION OF CENTER.--
(A) IN GENERAL.--The Center shall be in close proximity to a test area that is suitable for unmanned aircraft systems that includes--
(i) Class G airspace with low air traffic use located in a sparsely populated, low-density area within the continental United States;
(ii) a diversity of climate and weather conditions; and
(iii) a variety of terrain, topography, and vegetation, including forested and mountainous terrain, a diversity of crop and grazing lands, and areas inhabited by wildlife and livestock.
(B) ACCESS TO MARITIME AREAS.--The Center shall also have access to maritime and gulf areas through collaborative agreements with other universities and research institutes.
(3) CERTIFICATION PROCESS.--The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall expedite the approval process for Certificate of Authorization (COA) requests from the UAS Test and Development Center.
(d) Report.--Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives on the progress of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the National Airspace System.
(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration for each of the fiscal years 2011 through 2013 such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.


(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Feb 3, 2011.)