Drone Sweet Drone: State hopes to be unmanned aircraft testing site

Ted Carter

Mississippi is among 37 states vying to be one of six sites selected by the Federal Aviation Administration for testing of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

The testing is a prelude to integrating the remotely controlled aircraft into the nation’s general aviation system. If testing proves successful, the next step will be wide commercial use of the unmanned aircraft.

The Mississippi Development Authority hopes to leverage the state’s vast defense contracting base, including drone manufacturer Stark Aerospace in Columbus, to gain selection.

“Our next major submission is due to the FAA on May 6,” said Sally Williams, MDA spokeswoman.