Iowa Public Television


Meeting Focuses on Creating Drone Industry Center

posted on April 17, 2014

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Dozens of representatives from agriculture, aviation and higher education are meeting in northwestern Minnesota to discuss ways to promote the region as a center for development of the unmanned aircraft industry.

U. S. Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Collin Peterson are among those talking Tuesday about ways to join forces with North Dakota to use the region as a pioneer in the commercial use of drones throughout the nation's airspace.

Grand Forks, N.D., is one of six Federal Aviation Administration test sites to help determine how to safety integrate drones into airspace with conventional aircraft. The director of the test site, Robert Becklund, says agriculture will likely be the first industry to use drones for widespread commercial use. Becklund tells the Star Tribune the Red River Valley is a natural fit for the research.

Tags: agriculture aviation drones Minnesota