ATLANTIC COUNTY, N.J. — With declines in the casino industry and bankruptcy troubles for Atlantic City, there is one positive piece of news for the area’s economy–new federally-funded tech center projects in the aerospace sector.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation to renew the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) operations for 18 months that calls for new research and development projects that could be conducted at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City.
The Tech Center is located 10 miles northwest of downtown Atlantic City, adjacent to the Atlantic City International Airport. It serves as the national scientific test base for research and development, testing and evaluation and verification and validation in air traffic control, communications, navigation, airports, aircraft safety and security.
The laboratories and talent at Tech Center are instrumental in FAA’s efforts to modernize the U.S. air transportation system.
The new legislation extends through 2022 the use of six test locations for unmanned aerial vehicles–aka drones–and makes it easier to get permits. The Tech Center in Atlantic City collects the data for all six locations.
The facility also hosts private tenants, and according to a 2015 comprehensive economic study of the area, the Tech Center will play a role in the area’s future economy.