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.
Recently Dave Chesar of Oakwood heard a story we did about the 6,000 abandoned properties in Dayton.
"At the end of the piece it said that the one thing that needs to happen is people need to start purchasing the properties," Chesar said. So he wondered: how do you actually do that? Who do you call? Is there a list? "Who really is the person, or group that can kind of transform those 6,000 vacant and distressed properties into properties that have a name, price and location?"
Vandalia-based PSA Airlines will soon be in the market for hundreds of new employees. President Keith Houk says the regional carrier is adding more than 900 jobs in Dayton, Akron, Charlotte and Knoxville.
“It’ll include pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, general office workers, dispatchers and just a variety of employees,” says Houk.