HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) – The Federal Aviation Administration is looking for six sites to become testing grounds for unmanned aircraft systems, better known as drones.
Leaders in Huntsville have thrown the city’s name in the hat to become one of the six.
It started with a push from UA-Huntsville, but now the Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is throwing his support behind this as well because it means more jobs.
However, having drones in your airspace does come with some serious concern.
Redstone Arsenal is already the hub for development and management of unmanned aerial vehicles for the army, so if you add testing into the mix, it puts Redstone and the Huntsville area on the map for everything behind drones.
Because more jobs come with the testing of drones, Huntsville is not the only city vying for the opportunity. There is already interest from cities in more than 30 states to be one of six testing sites that the FAA will designate.
Drones have a reputation of secretly invading privacy and spying on then killing an enemy, but Battle explained what would come with testing drones domestically.
“It looks at the landfill and makes sure it has the right compaction there and uses a sensor to tell you. It may follow a pipeline and makes sure there is no leakage out of that pipeline,” he said. “That’s the kind of technology you are looking at and the commercial applications that you are looking, which means jobs, money to the area. There is really not enough money in watching people.”
Air traffic control is also huge factor in testing these drones domestically.
At this point, there is no way of knowing when the FAA will choose its six sites.
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