Nevada chosen as drone test site

Listen to the story

Nevada chosen as drone test site

Drone

The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Nevada as one of six drone testing sites.

The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Nevada as one of six drone testing sites. The FAA made the announcement Monday morning, and Governor Brian Sandoval calls the selection an historic moment for Nevada:

"It could bring or it will bring thousands of jobs to our state, and we estimate that the average wage for those jobs will be $62,000. It could mean $2.5 billion--with a 'B'--in economic impact and $125 million in local and state tax revenue for the state of Nevada."

The range of those jobs includes: teachers, machinists, aircraft mechanics, software developers, electrical engineers, and human resource professionals.

Right now, Nevada continues to lead the country in unemployment, with a jobless rate of 9 percent last month.

Steve Hill is director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. He says being chosen an opportunity but the state must go to work quickly to be competitive in this burgeoning industry.

"We'll begin immediately reaching out to companies that have an interest in testing, and begin to show them why we think that they should do that testing here in the state."

In the past, drones have been mainly used by the military. The FAA's new program will begin testing for the commercial, domestic use of drones.

There were 25 test-site applicants in 24 states for six possible sites. Other states hosting test site operators include: Alaska, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.