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Government

FAA Overlooks Florida in Drone Test Site Designations

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Don McCullough via Flickr
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The Federal Aviation Administration has announced six locations where it will test how to introduce drones into the national airspace. Florida isn't among them.

The winners are Nevada, University of Alaska, New York's Griffiss International Airport, North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A-and-M University in Corpus Christi and Virginia Tech.

Dale Ketcham of Space Florida says aerospace leaders will keep working to bring drones to the state anyway."The game's not entirely over because the FAA did designate that they would continue to work with some of the states that were not successful", said Ketcham. "And at the end of the day this is simply a designation. It did not come with any money. If you're going to lose an award I'd rather lose one that didn't come with any money."

The FAA wants to test where drones can fly safely with manned planes, helicopters and other aircraft. The agency also will develop certification and air traffic requirements for drones.

Ketcham says Florida is ideal because of its vast restricted airspace, where he says drones can be tested without interfering with air traffic.

The FAA considered proposals from 24 states including Florida for the highly coveted test site designations. The future drone market is expected to be worth billions of dollars.