The Federal Aviation Administration handed down its decision earlier this week that the Dayton region was not selected as one of the six national test sites for commercial drones. The news comes after months of preparation from business and industry officials, as well as Ohio’s political leaders. But Chris Ford with the Dayton Development Coalition says it won’t change the game for the drone industry in the region.
Some schools across the state are preparing students for a boom in the drone industry once the federal government, as is expected, allows civilian unmanned aircraft to fly in U.S. airspace.
The Federal Aviation Administration has until 2015 to present a plan for safely integrating drones into national airspace. Sinclair Community College already is training students for jobs using the technology, and Kent State University is doing the same.
Right now, if you can spare the cash, you can buy your own drone—or unmanned aerial vehicle, as the industry likes to call them. You can buy local, too, because the Dayton area is trying to shape itself as a hub for the growing commercial drone industry. In a couple years local companies would like to be using them for agricultural purposes, emergency response, entertainment, even surveillance.
"The FAA really needs to address the procedures and policies associated with flying these systems," says Maurice McDonald at the Dayton Development Coalition.