The House of Representatives recently passed HR 5315, the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act. The bill passed out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in May with a 54-4 vote, before being sent to a full House vote on September 14, 2022. It is not clear if the Senate will vote on a similar bill this year or if it will be incorporated into FAA Reauthorization in 2023.
If the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act becomes law, it could provide many educational opportunities for youth looking to make a career in UAS or related technologies.
Summary of HR 5315:
This bill establishes programs within the Department of Transportation (DOT) to support the use of drones and other small, unmanned aircraft systems when inspecting, repairing, or constructing road infrastructure, electric grid infrastructure, water infrastructure, or other critical infrastructure.
Specifically, the DOT must award grants to state, tribal, and local governments; metropolitan planning organizations; or regional groups of those entities to purchase or otherwise use drones to increase efficiency, reduce costs, improve worker safety, and reduce carbon emissions when carrying out inspections, repairs, and construction. Grant recipients must use domestically manufactured drones that are made by companies not subject to Chinese influence or control.
The DOT must also award grants to certain institutions of higher education for training students for careers using drones and related technologies.
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