HERE COME THE DRONES: INDUSTRY GROUPS TALK UP FAA’S UNMANNED DEVICE TESTS

The Federal Aviation Administration’s recent announcement of drone test sites gave six areas a big boost as the unmanned aerial vehicle industry’s future unfolds. But even some who had losing bids sounded upbeat about the industry’s prospects.

Maybe Jeff Bezos’ pipe dream of sending drones to deliver Amazon.com packages isn’t quite as far off as some think.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s recent approval of a half dozen sites to test the viability of using unmanned aerial vehicles for nonmilitary purposes has a lot of folks talking—including local business groups that see an opportunity to latch onto a potential business breakthrough. More details:

About the program: After receiving 25 applications spanning two dozen states, the FAA approved six bids to operate sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research. Among the picks was a trio of schools—University of Alaska, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Virginia Tech— as well as the state of Nevada, Griffiss International Airport in New York state, and the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The FAA chose locations for their infrastructure, climate, and geographic diversity, as well as experience in aviation work.

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