Sen. Mark Warner to Visit MECC for Drone Demo Day

Big Stone Gap — Senator Mark Warner will visit Mountain Empire Community College on Tuesday, August 15 at 2:30 p.m. in Dalton-Cantrell Hall for a discussion and demonstration of MECC’s innovative Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program. Launched in 2015, the UAV program at MECC — the first of its kind in Virginia — has opened up new frontiers and job opportunities in southwest Virginia. Through the program, MECC has placed itself at the forefront of a growing industry as students gain the skills to maintain, design, fabricate, and fly drones.  

Sen. Warner has been a strong supporter of research and investment in unmanned systems, including driverless cars, drones, and unmanned submersibles. Virginia is home to one of six FAA-approved sites across the country where researchers are testing the safest and most effective ways to incorporate UAV into the existing airspace.

Sen. Warner will join representatives from MECC and Dominion Power, which uses UAVs to monitor and maintain its systems, to discuss the program. Senator Warner will also provide remarks on his work with UAVs in Washington. Event participants will then move outside for a demonstration to “test drive” some of the UAVs.