Mil-Grenada Mil-Columbus Mil-Refuel-Meridian Mil-NAS-Meridian Mil-Keesler Mil-SeaBees Mil-Airlift-Jackson Mil-Vicksburg Civ-Starkville Civ-Bolton Civ-Hattiesburg Civ-Lott Civ-Gulfport Civ-NASA-Stennis Civ-Airport-Stennis Civ-Picayune


Military Installations


Keesler Air Force Base – Biloxi
Naval Construction Battalion Center (Seabees) – Gulfport
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center – Vicksburg
172nd Airlift Wing, MS ANG – Jackson
186th Air Refueling Wing, MS ANG – Meridian
Naval Air Station Meridian – Meridian
Columbus Air Force Base – Columbus
Camp McCain – Grenada



Test Site Partners


Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center – Encompassing more than 134,000 acres, Camp Shelby has a wide range of training and logistical support facilities for both military and commercial uses. They are the Army National Guard’s only Unmanned Aircraft Regional Flight Center and have been safely flying both military and private sector UAS in their Special Use Airspace for about a decade without incident.


Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) – CRTC at Gulfport, Mississippi hosts regular deployments of Air National Guard units and offers convenient offshore restricted airspace that is fully instrumented (ACMI) for recording air to air engagements. Access to the Gulf ranges can provide for high speed and supersonic testing of UAS.


NASA’s Stennis Space Center (SSC) – SSC is NASA’s premiere test facility. With a perpetual easement on a 125,000 acre acoustical buffer zone, it allows for continuous testing year round and 24 hours a day. SSC is also home to many governmental research and operations agencies, including the Naval Oceanographic Office, NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center, as well as several commercial aerospace enterprises.


Hinds Community College Aviation Department (HCC) – HCC aviation curriculum includes degrees in aviation mechanics, air traffic control and pilot training for UAS. HCC currently has one of the only programs in the U.S. that trains UAS pilots.


Mississippi State University (MSU) – MSU’s engineering school offers degrees in aerospace engineering and houses the RASPET Flight Research Laboratory. RASPET is the largest university flight laboratory of its kind in the U.S., and researchers there are actively engaged in aerodynamics research, composite prototype development, and flight-testing.


Stennis International Airport – Stennis Airport is a 1,680 acre general aviation airport adjacent to a 100 acre airpark that is open for commercial development. The airport is also adjacent to NASA’s Stennis Space Center’s buffer zone, providing unparalleled access to the assets there.


Picayune Airport – Picayune Airport is a general aviation airport located adjacent to the northern portion of NASA’s Stennis Space Center.


Trent Lott Airport – Located in Jackson County, Trent Lott is situated on over 500 acres of prime industrial and business park space. They also accommodate flight testing facilities for manned and unmanned airplanes and helicopters, including Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems, who manufactures the Global Hawk, Fire Scout, and the Triton there. Golden Triangle Regional Airport, located in Columbus on over 1,000 acres, has 4,000 adjacent acres available for development. They are also home to UAS manufacturers Aurora Flight Sciences and Stark Aerospace and currently have an active COA.




FAA’s UAV Center of Excellence (MSU) – MSU will lead research to explore evolving new technological developments regarding unmanned aircraft and their uses, including detect-and-avoid technology, low-altitude operations safety, privacy safeguards, and other areas. Research will also involve the deployment of UAS for emergency response, biofuel and clean fuel technologies, law enforcement activities, and agricultural and environmental monitoring.


Moreover, the COE UAS will coordinate research and development activities with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, and other agencies. Its work will also lead to recommendations on aircraft certification, flight standards, and air traffic requirements and facilitate UAS technology transfer to other civilian and defense agencies.

Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University specializes in the design and testing of materials to support rapid prototyping for lighter-weight aircraft. The business incubator at Raspet also offers technical training, manufacturing space, and other assets to various aerospace industries. Raspet has partnered with such companies as Airbus Helicopters, GE Aviation, and Aurora Flight Sciences. GE Aviation, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Stark Aerospace launched their Mississippi operations at the Raspet Laboratory. Raspet is the public sponsor of a Certificate of Authorization (COA) for flight testing of the Heron, a Stark Aerospace UAS. Raspet often locates research staff on-site to support engineering and design and flight testing of large-scale UAS with companies, including MAV6.

ASSURE (Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence) is a consortium of universities headed by Mississippi State University (MSU), to lead the UAS COE. ASSURE is tasked with identifying issues critical to the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the nation’s airspace and engaging in research and policy development on the growing use of unmanned aerial systems.

Mississippi Polymer Institute (MPI) at the University of Southern Mississippi is a national leader in the study of composites, advanced materials, polymers, and plastics. GE Aviation, Boeing, Cytec Resins, Northrup Grumman, ATK, and SELEX Galileo have partnered with the Mississippi Polymer Institute.

Center for Manufacturing Excellence (University of Mississippi) offers a degree in engineering preparing students for careers in manufacturing. The CME is advised by numerous industry executives, including those from nearby GE Aviation and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi. The CME also has extensive research facilities, numerous existing co-op programs, and the flexibility to provide extension programs to companies that wish to work with CME staff and students.

Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) at Mississippi State University helps businesses improve engineering, manufacturing, and design technologies. CAVS includes an entire department specializing in the simulation and experimentation of aerospace materials.

Community Colleges

Mississippi’s 15 community colleges offer 26,403 training classes and serve more than 550 companies with customized training solutions.


A number of Mississippi’s community colleges offer programs of particular interest to aerospace- and aviation-related companies, such as Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program and Hinds Community College’s Aviation Maintenance and Avionics Technology Program.


Hinds Community College’s UAV Pilot Training Program is a partnership with Pearl River Community College and the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center. This program offers both academic and hands-on curriculum and is available to both active military and civilians.


Both Hinds Community College and Northwest Mississippi Community College offer airframe and powerplant programs. As a result of Airbus’ recent location along the Gulf Coast, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will begin an airframe license-training program in the fall of 2015.


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