Across the country, states are vying to attract the engineers who will build our new domestic drone force, and they're finding that being a hub for drone production and testing could be a major economic boom for their area.
According to Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, local governments see the potential:
"You have all of these different locals around the nation looking at the award of these test sites as their chance to get in on the bottom floor; their chance to be the Silicon Valley equivalent."
Ryan Delaney, a reporter from WRVO in upstate New York, has been spending time with some of the advocates competing to attract drone-makers to their own airspace. According to Delaney, attracting drone production has the potential to be immensely profitable. "[This is] a $94 billion industry we’re talking about worldwide over the next decade… Upstate New York obviously wants to get as big of a chunk of that as they can."
Robert Knauff is a retired Air Force Major General who serves as the Chief Operating Officer on a coalition in upstate New York that is trying to establish a Federal testing site. He believes that locations like upstate New York with already established restricted military air spaces have a distinct advantage. "You can build remotely piloted aircraft anywhere, what you can’t do is operate it. And if you have the airspace, there’s a powerful incentive to build close to where you’re going to do the flying, the testing, and the operating."