Dec 30, 2013 2:03 PM

Feds pick drone testing sites, Arizona misses out

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.

Several spots in Arizona were being considered, including Yuma, Safford, Seligman, Prescott, Ft. Huachuca and Benson. Getting a test site means thousands of jobs and millions in tex revenue.

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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