Americas FAA Test Sites

States are competing to be the Silicon Valley of drones


By Andrea Peterson

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is poised to select six locations as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) test sites. And states are pulling out the stops to convince the agency to let them host one of them.

Wyoming, North Carolina, Utah, Ohio, Minnesota, Oklahoma and North Dakota all had booths at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) drone conference in Washington last week — and some of them were quite lavish.

Ohio was giving away cookies shaped like the state. North Dakota and Oklahoma both had huge booths that included semi-enclosed meeting areas. Utah had a large inflatable snow yeti holding a model of a drone designed in-state. All this to convince the crowd, and ultimately the FAA, that their corner of America is on the verge of becoming the Silicon Valley of drones.

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