States Fight for Drone Money

Everybody wants to be location of test sites


The drones of the future could bring a windfall for the U.S. economy, boosters hope — so states are elbowing to get a taste of the action.

Twenty-four states have submitted proposals to the Federal Aviation Administration to be test sites for unmanned aircraft, competing to be among six selected by the end of the year. But the test-site selection is just the beginning, officials said Tuesday at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington.

The unmanned systems commercial market is set to explode, they say, and states such as Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, Ohio and Idaho are jostling to position themselves to reap the economic benefits.