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FRIDAY, 25 APR 2014
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U.S. announces test sites for drone aircraft
Associated Press
A NASA Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone aircraft, is stored inside an airplane hangar during a Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on September 10, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB
A NASA Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone aircraft, is stored inside an airplane hangar during a Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on September 10, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB
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LAS VEGAS: The Federal Aviation Administration has chosen six states to develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the unmanned aircraft's march into U.S. skies.

The FAA announced Monday the sites will be based in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia.

Drones have been mainly used by the military, but governments, businesses, farmers and others are making plans to join the market. Many universities are starting or expanding drone programs.

The FAA does not allow commercial use of drones, but it is working to develop operational guidelines by the end of 2015. Officials concede it may take longer.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says safety is the first priority in moving drones into U.S. airspace.

 
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