FAA to announce the sites approved for drone testing in December, could Ohio be one of them?

CINCINNATI -- Twenty-four states, including Ohio, are in the running to become a drone testing area.

Wilmington is one of the possible new locations for drone testing in the U.S. The government is reviewing applications and plans to approve six test site applications for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) by December.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) will range in size from a hummingbird to a seven to 10 foot wingspan. Depending on their size, they will be hand-launched or off a runaway like an airplane. 
 
Carver and Wilmington Mayor Randy Riley say the Wilmington Air Park, which is a component of Ohio's proposal, is the perfect facility to test UAV's.

"This Air Park is an asset to all of southwest Ohio when it comes to aviation and research and development," said Riley.

Some UAVs have already been tested at the Air Park. The United States Air Force Research Lab, headquartered at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, possesses a Certificate of Authorization from the FAA to fly certain UAVs on a limited basis.
 
Ohio and Indiana have large military air space where drones would be flown. Ohio's Military Operated Airspace is over the Hillsboro area. It is where the National Guard used to fly F-16s.

More UAVs or drones are coming and Wilmington's mayor says that it is something that the public needs to accept.

"It's hard to tell people that this is something that's already happening and that you're going to have to get used to it, but it's already happening. People just need to become acclimated to the fact," said Riley.

Click here to see other states that have applied to become a test site: www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/media/UAS_testsite_map.pdf

See the FAA fact sheet on UAV testing here 

To see previous coverage on this issue, see Jay Warren's story.

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