FAA Selects Virginia Tech as One of Six Drone Testing Sites

Courtesy: Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA - The FAA announced Monday that Virginia Tech has been selected to be one of just six national drone testing sites they are planning. That could lead to a big economic boost.

Drones, both in the foreign arena and here domestically, are a subject that recently has provoked quite a bit of debate for many, and for many reasons.

Monday's news puts Blacksburg right in the middle of all those subjects as Virginia Tech will help develop the best way to introduce this technology to U.S. skies. Currently drones, for commercial use, are not legal in the U.S. However, the FAA is expected to have guidelines by the end of 2015, making a great fit for the school's unmanned systems lab.

And that's because while drones typically have a military connotation, farmers, universities, police departments, real estate companies, you name it, people are looking for ways to get on board, and Tech will help lead the transition.

As many as 7,500 commercial drones are expected to be airborne within five years of loosened regulations. In all 24 different states submitted proposals to get one of these sites.

Recent studies suggest as many as 70,000 new high paying jobs will be created with the loosening of regulations. This announcement definitely gives a leg up to these six regions as the battle to entice those jobs really starts to heat up.