Federal, state and local officials will join Mississippi State senior leadership and researchers this week for a news conference about the new FAA National Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at the university and for a demonstration of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in flight. The Friday [June 5] event begins at 11 a.m. at the A.B. McKay Food and Enology Laboratory, which is located on Technology Blvd. in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, and will feature MSU President Mark E. Keenum; Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw; USAF Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James Poss, executive director of the MSU-led ASSURE team; Robert Moorhead, professor and Northern Gulf Institute and Geosystems Research Institute director; Glenn McCullough Jr., Mississippi Development Authority executive director; and Gov. Phil Bryant. The labâs iconic building overlooks the Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Center, known by many as North Farm. The UAV demonstration flight will take place in airspace above the centerâs fields and feature a Precision Hawk Lancaster 3. Additionally, a number of UAVs will be on display, including an Altavian Nova Block III, a DJI Phantom 2 Vision Plus, and a DJI Phantom 2 with a thermal camera. Officials will share more information about the role the center will play in providing research and spurring development of technologies and policies for the use of unmanned aerial systems in the United States. They will also address the potential this initiative has to create jobs and new business and industry opportunities throughout the state and especially in the Golden Triangle area. Interview, photo and video opportunities will be available. Please direct media inquiries to Harriet Laird in Mississippi Stateâs Office of Public Affairs at 662-325-7460 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Allison Matthews at email@example.com or 662-325-7457.