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Front line: Preparing for take-off in the drone industry (Area Development)

March 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Articles and Features

area development dronesAs drones become smaller, more affordable, and easier to operate, they’re being eyed for use in everything from agriculture to construction and real estate. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says there could be 30,000 of them in American skies by 2020, and according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the business of manufacturing and flying drones could become an $82 billion industry within 10 years.

Designated Site Operators

The FAA is expected to open the doors to commercial drone use as early as 2016, and many economic development organizations are already trying to attract drone manufacturers. Thus far, the FAA has selected six test site operators; the sites will serve as labs for developing drone policies and technologies. The operators include the University of Alaska, the state of Nevada, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A&M University (Corpus Christi), Virginia Tech, and Griffis International Airport (New York). These locations are already experiencing growth from manufacturers that want to build and test drones and components.

Read the full story by Craig Guillot at Area Development.

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