Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Bell Announce Agreement as part of the FAA UASIPP

December 16, 2019

DURANT, Okla. (December 16, 2019) – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) and Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company announced today an agreement to add Bell to the CNO UASIPP team and begin testing some of the Bell innovations and systems on CNO-owned property in rural southeastern Oklahoma.

The flights and tests will be conducted as part of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP) in preparation for future planned beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and other more advanced UAS operations. CNO is one of nine UASIPP sites selected by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in May 2018.

CNO, Bell and their partners plan to work with the FAA and other federal agencies to enhance emerging aviation technologies and operations to help keep the United States a leader in aviation.

“The Choctaw Nation continues to be excited to work with our key strategic teammates like Bell as we begin to foster innovation and utilize new technologies in today’s world,” states James Grimsley, Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives. “Working with an industry leader like Bell validates our investment and highlights all the hard work and success our team has had to date.”

“We are proud and excited to be a part of the CNO UASIPP team,” said Scott Drennan, Bell’s vice president, Innovation. “This agreement will enable us to continue to test our vehicles and work in a collaborative effort with CNO and the FAA to improve aviation technologies and achieve new possibilities together.”

Future missions for the CNO UASIPP team include advanced drone operations – including BVLOS - for agricultural applications, public safety operations, infrastructure inspections, safe operations over people, and weather related missions.

CONTACT:    Kristina Humenesky, Public Relations Director – Choctaw Nation, 580-380-5967,  khumenesky@choctawnation.com

CONTACT:    James Grimsley, Executive Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives – Choctaw Nation, 580-740-3772,  jgrimsley@choctawnation.com

CONTACT:    Brian Post, Senior Director of Advanced Technology Initiatives – Choctaw Nation, 580-380-5104,  bpost@choctawnation.com

CONTACT:    Grace Dieb, Media Relations – Bell, 817-296-4238,  gdieb@bellflight.com

ABOUT BELL
Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

ABOUT TEXTRON
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell , Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, , , Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

ABOUT THE UAS IPP PROGRAM
The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) is an opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to accelerate safe UAS integration. The program will help the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) craft new enabling rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations by:

  • Identifying ways to balance local and national interests related to UAS integration
  • Improving communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions
  • Addressing security and privacy risks
  • Accelerating the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.

The Program is expected foster a meaningful dialogue on the balance between local and national interests related to UAS integration and provide actionable information to the USDOT on expanded and universal integration of UAS into the National Airspace System.

ABOUT THE CHOCTAW NATION OF OKLAHOMA
The Choctaw Nation is the third largest Indian Nation in the United States with close to 200,000 tribal members and more than 9,000 employees. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, the historic boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage and traditions, please visit www.choctawnation.com

For more information about the Choctaw Nation UAS IPP program please visit www.cnoaa.com

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to,  the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses or delays in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; the timing of our new product launches or certifications of our new aircraft products; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; and performance issues with key suppliers, subcontractors or business partners.

Connect with Textron IR

Eric Salander, Vice President, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288
Cameron Vollmuth, Manager,
Investor Relations (401) 457-2288

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