FILE – This April 13, 2013, file photo shows a NASA Global Hawk robotic jet in a hangar at Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday Dec. 30, 2013, that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies. Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia will host the research sites, the agency said. (AP Photo/John Antczak, File)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Six 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, Texas and Virginia will 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.
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.
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