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Texas School Named Drone Test Site

By Bill O'Neil

Researchers at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi could play a leading role in shaping the future use of unmanned aircraft. 

The school has been designated by the FAA as a testing site--with the research to focus largely on seeing whether or not the pilotless vehicles can fly safely with the other air traffic that fills the sky. 

"These vehicles are going to be so used in various kinds of research activities and monitoring activities of environmental situations and so forth" said School President and CEO Dr. Falvius Killebrew--noting the school's location along the Gulf is the perfect spot for such research to take place. 

"And in the role it (the school) is already playing with unmanned aerial systems, it was just a natural for us to take a leadership role on this" Killebrew said.  

The school's Dr. David Bridges--said the work is already well underway. 

"We are in the process of setting up a command and control center--so they are going to monitor all of the UAS activity at all of our different test ranges at that one place" Bridges said. 

A study released back in the spring said the state stands to see an $8 billion economic impact from the industry over the next decade.   


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