Calling All Robotic Vehicles: Cumberland Airport Wants You

The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority at Greater Cumberland Regional Airport has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study to create an Autonomous Technology Center at the airport. The Technology Center will look into researching all types of autonomous technology, from drones to automated vehicles.

From the RFP:

The project will identify the need for research, development and manufacturing of autonomous technology, bringing in high-tech jobs in a burgeoning field to help replace those jobs lost in the dwindling coal industry. A partnership has been developed between local governments and educational institutions to create an Autonomous Technology Center at the regional airport. The partners are hoping to attract companies interested in the testing and the production of all types of unmanned robotic vehicles, and the necessary operator training. The global market for autonomous vehicle industry is expected to grow from an $11.3 billion industry in 2015 to $140 billion industry in 10 years. The creation of The Autonomous Technology Center will allow for this region to be a part of the growing industry, while diversifying the economy by adding high tech career opportunities.

The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority serves as a vital transportation focal point for Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, with the center of commerce in Cumberland, Maryland. Although the Airport is physically located in West Virginia, it is considered a Maryland Airport by the Maryland Aviation Administration. The Airport Authority includes appointees from Allegany County, Frostburg State University, Allegany College of Maryland, Mineral County in West Virginia, the State of West Virginia, and West Virginia University Potomac State Campus.

Contact Bill Atkinson from the Maryland Department of Planning at bill.atkinson@maryland.gov for more information.