The Choctaw Nation is about to be flying high, thanks to being a part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Emerging Aviation Program.
“I’m super excited about this for what it’s going to do for southeastern Oklahoma,” Choctaw Nation Youth Advisory Board Program Director Greg Parnell said to members of the Poteau Rotary Club during one of the local civic organization’s weekly meetings earlier this month at Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center. “The Choctaw Nation was one of eight lead participants (and the only tribal government) that were selected to be part of the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) BEYOND Program to conduct research on emerging aviation technologies, such as drones. The Choctaw Nation is partnering with the FAA in Daisy (in far southeastern Atoka County near the junction of the Indian Nation Turnpike and Oklahoma State Highway 43), It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it is a perfect place to fly all these unmanned aircraft. James Grimsley (formerly from the University of Oklahoma) is the executive director of our aviation initiative. It is going to be amazing in five to 10 years in what is going on in Daisy. It will involve people worldwide coming to learn what they are doing there. In fact, they’re already working with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in multiple areas.”