Delegate Richard Anderson is chairman of the Virginia House Committee on Science and Technology and the Joint Committee on Technolgy and Science (JCOTS). He represents Virginia’s 51st House of Delegates District.
In this podcast, Chairman Anderson talks about the latest state initiatives regarding the aviation and space industry. A study was commissioned by the General Assembly and performed by the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine .
“We as a commonwealth have not harnassed all of the potential of the aviation and space industry,” said Anderson in the podcast.
The study came up with six key recommendations:
(1) Pursue initiatives to grow Virginia’s commercial space enterprise and operation of unmanned aerial systems as key economic development initiatives
(2) Create a high-level aerospace economic development position in Virginia state government
(3) Attract new aerospace investments to Virginia
(4) Market current aerospace assets in Virginia’s government, commercial, and academic sectors
(5) Coordinate elements in Virginia’s aviation and space sectors to grow and diversify the economy
(6) Search for new opportunities in the financially-constrained federal sector for investment in the Commonwealth
Anderson discusses these recommendations and also explains how this is not a play to wrestle away the space program from Florida, but more of a concentrated effort to work with private industry and the next governor’s administration to set conditions to grow the aviation and space industry.
Anderson is seeking to meet soon with industry leaders to determine what initial steps can be taken – “low hanging fruit” – in the 2018 General Assembly to further support this industry and its potential.
“We cannot even scratch the surface [of what needs to be done] in a single General Assembly session,” said Anderson.
Anderson was clear to point out that privacy and security concerns are certainly part of the conversation as the industry continues to develop and that, by and large, the desire to grow Virginia’s aerospace frontier is a nonpartisan issue.
Links of Note:
- Aerospace in Virginia: An Opportunity for Economic Growth 
- HJ 97 Commonwealth’s aerospace industry; Joint Commission on Technology and Science to study. Introduced by Del. David Yancey. 
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