In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration will admit military, private, and commercial drones into U.S. airspace. The move could dramatically increase the number of unmanned aircraft shooting through the skies, and with it, the value of the domestic drone economy.
The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that the new regulations will result in “100,000 jobs created and economic impact of $82 billion” by 2025. For several cities and states across the country, that means one thing: ka-ching.
Take North Dakota, where law enforcement, local government, federal agencies, and universities have already laid the groundwork for the coming drone-volution.
The state has the nation’s first degree program in unmanned vehicles, at the University of North Dakota; an Air National Guard unit that switched from F-16 fighters to MQ-1 Predator drones a few years ago; and $5 million set aside for drone development if the FAA approves North Dakota as a drone test site.