FAA Picks 6 Drone Testing Sites

Fire ScoutThe Federal Aviation Administration announced the first six organizations that will be able to conduct research and development of drones.

FAA officials announced Tuesday that the state of Nevada, New York’s Griffiss International Airport, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech and the University of Alaska will be the first to be allowed to conduct drone testing.

FAA administrator Michael Huerta called the announcement of the testing sites a major milestone toward integrating drones into U.S. airspace. The FAA has been working to determine the manner in which it wishes to mix drones into the U.S. air picture. Plenty of officials are still nervous about mixing drones with manned aircraft.

The six winners were picked from 25 different applicants. The authorizations granted by the FAA are good through 2017.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • hibeam

    I’m not seeing Pakistan on this list.

    • Hector Q

      I’m also surprised that Deer Trail, Colorado didn’t make the cut.

  • guest

    Given how Obama has used the IRS to silence his political opponents, don’t be surprised if the Red states, ie Texas, North Dakota, Alaska take some hits. Gov Rick Perry better carry something bigger than a .380.

  • Hammer6

    MA co-submitted an application with NY. Does anyone know to what extent any testing will happen in MA?

    • Mitch S.

      If there are problems with the navigation control then some may happen in MA
      and in VT, and in Canada…

  • Lance

    Skynet next…. and over your head to boot.

  • Massive Government spying worldwide….
    Drones coming to American airspace….
    Is Skynet here?

  • Jim Palazzolo

    no Skynet’s not here – yet…huge improvements in defining consciousness and life are needed in order to mirror it via AI. Now… you can make a program that targets warm blooded creatures and works to eliminate them all lol.

    Personally – I work in cyber sec and I’m more concerned with hacking into drone networks than the drones themselves…just like I’m more concerned about the individual(s) carrying the gun then I am a gun. I’m not so sure we are ready for this, but big business will force it down our throats either way. I just hope that something doesn’t go awry and we hear on the news about a rocket strike from a drone that wipes out a playground.

    From a maintenance perspective the chances of a drone falling on someone in their backyard is probably in the same general vicinity of anything airborne and man made falling on your neighbor.

  • steve black

    Now we know how the rest of the world feels.

  • hibeam

    Now when company A needs the widget prototype from company B a tiny drone will fly it 20 miles across town instead of the fat guy in the SUV. And this is a bad thing?

  • Jim Palazzolo

    It doesn’t really matter if it’s a bad thing or a good thing – it’s just going to be…we’ll get bad and good effects from it. For example: folks will lose their jobs and other will gain jobs in the drone industry – a good/bad thing…

    • SJE

      I predict that it will get bogged down in regulations, like most things in the USA. The FDA just shut down 23-and-me because apparently I am not allowed to get my genetic testing direct from them, but must spend thousands of dollars to go through a doctor. Its for my protection, you see.

  • Jim Palazzolo

    Right – lol – there’s also the regulations thing =)