Who wants to become Drone Valley?
Half the country, it seems, yet just six states are getting a chance to compete for dominance in the emerging technology of commercial drones.
The Federal Aviation Administration sifted through 25 applications, as Bloomberg’s Alan Levin and David Mildenberg report today. The agency selected sites in New York, Virginia, Texas, Nevada, North Dakota and Alaska as test centers for the start of research leading to the eventual approval of civilian unmanned aircraft in the nation’s airways. Companies such as Amazon.com are interested in the commercial promise of drone delivery.
The agency took location, climate and safety into account in selecting the test sites — the winners offering “climactic and geographic diversity” in fedspeak.
The New York location is somewhat remote: Griffis International Airport in Rome, N.Y.
Virginia Tech in Blacksburg gets a chance, as does Texas A&M, at a Corpus Christi center.
“We have successfully brought new technology into the nation’s aviation system for more than 50 years, and I have no doubt we will do the same with unmanned aircraft,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement issued announcing the awards.