Texas and five other states were named Monday by federal officials to develop test sites for drones — a critical next step for the burgeoning industry that could one day produce thousands of unmanned aircraft for use by businesses, farmers and researchers.
Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota and Virginia will also host the research sites, providing diverse climates, geography and air traffic environments as the Federal Aviation Administration seeks to safely introduce commercial drones into U.S. airspace.
Texas’ 11 test site locations will be spread across the state.
Members of Congress and other politicians lobbied intensely to bring the work to their states. Representatives were jubilant about the likelihood that the testing will draw companies interested in cashing in on the fledgling industry.
An industry-commissioned study has predicted that more than 70,000 jobs would develop in the first three years after Congress loosens drone restrictions on U.S. skies. The same study projects an average salary range for a drone pilot between $85,000 and $115,000.
Source: Dallas Morning News