It’s no secret that the US military is in L-O-V-E, love with its unmanned aerial fleet. The infatuation has reached fever pitch, in fact, now that the US Army has begun construction of a brand new airport in central Texas that will only be accessible to its two favourite flying drones.
The military has made it clear that UAVs are the future of aerial reconnaissance — as well as in a growing number of cases, aerial combat — and that they will eventually be operating in the same airspace as conventionally piloted aircraft. Two of these unmanned platforms have already become so ubiquitous — the Grey Eagle and Shadow UAS — that the US Army CoE has contracted SGS systems to build a 150-acre airport at Fort Bliss, Texas, just for them.
According to a report from Defence Systems,
The complex will include a 50,000-square-foot unmanned aircraft maintenance hangar and more than a mile of runways, aprons, and taxiways, according to an announcement from the company. The runways will include a 1.5km runway for the Grey Eagle and a 300m runway for the smaller Shadow. In addition to maintenance shops, administrative space and storage space in the hangar, the facilities also will have a 5-ton bridge crane, oil/water separator, aircraft container and forklift storage, taxiway, access apron, oil and hazardous waste storage buildings, vehicle storage facilities, organisational vehicle parking, and overhead protection/canopy.
There’s no word yet on how many of these aerial fliers the facility will be able to accommodate at any given time. [Defence Systems]