FAA Approves Drone Site At Fort Hood - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

FORT HOOD

FAA Approves Drone Site At Fort Hood

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FORT HOOD -

The FAA has chosen Texas as one of six states to help develop drones for commercial use.

One of the 11 test sites in Texas will be located in the South Fort Hood area. The site will actually belong to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi who has been doing drone research for roughly two years.

In all, five other states were also chosen to be homes to the new drone testing sites including Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota and Virginia also made the list. The test sites will allow for research to be conducted on drone technologies, which will help provide researchers with scientific data for when the aircraft are then integrated with other air traffic.

"We're very involved in this research, and we decided that we wanted to get involved in the FAA program and be part of the solution for integrating this aircraft into the national airspace," TAMU-Corpus Christi senior research developer Ron George said.

Recently, Congress mandated that the drones have to be integrated into national airspace by 2015, and some of the main research goals behind this program are to find the safest methods for unmanned planes to sense other aircraft in the area.  That will then allow them to prevent crashes and collisions from happening.

With this decision comes a huge economic impact for Texas with around $8 billion being generated by the program statewide, and roughly $260 million coming from South Texas alone over the next 10 years.  The program is also expected to bring in around 1,200 jobs once it's fully functional.

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