WILEY FORD, W.Va. — The University of Maryland and West Virginia University have expressed interest in the proposed autonomous technology center at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport.

Kevin Clark, Potomac Highlands Airport Authority member and executive director of the Mineral County Development Authority, provided an update on the proposed center during the authority’s Thursday meeting. 

Local economic development officials will meet with University of Maryland representatives Tuesday to discuss the tech center, which could potentially be part of a planned industrial park at the airport.

Clark and Matt Miller, Cumberland economic development specialist, and William Atkinson, Appalachian Regional Commission program manager and director of the Maryland Department of Planning’s Western Maryland Regional Office, traveled to Virginia Tech last month in hopes of partnering with them on the tech center. 

“We made a lot of contacts,” Clark said of the trip.

The request for proposal for the project’s feasibility study has been resubmitted to other groups that would like to be involved, Clark said, adding a consultant in Arizona expressed interest.

“It’s still moving but with something this big we don’t want to just put an RFP out and take whatever someone gives us,” Clark said. “It would be a waste of money. We want to make sure we get the right response so we can make an intelligent decision about it.” 

Miller had previously said that he hoped that West Virginia University, which has a drone curriculum, would consider expanding it to Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser.

In July, the authority approved funding half of the feasibility study with ARC paying the remainder. 

Follow staff writer Elaine Blaisdell on Twitter @eblaisdell. 

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