Feedback
News
photo

Members of Texas Community Celebrate New Drone Testing Site

Image: Crew members carry a drone with the wing span of almost 13 feet following a test flight
Crew members carry a drone with the wing span of almost 13 feet following a test flight at a ranch near Sarita, Texas, Jan. 15, 2014. A Texas A&M Corpus Christi research team is conducting tests to help determine how unmanned aircraft system can be integrated into existing airspace. Eric Gay / AP

After being named as one of six drone test sites by the FAA two weeks ago, members of the Texas A&M Corpus Christi team gathered to celebrate the nearly 1,200 jobs and $260 million the program is expected to bring to South Texas.

The mission of the research team is to help determine how drones can safely be integrated into existing airspace with commercial airliners and other drones.

The other sites included The University of Alaska, New York's Griffiss International Airport near Utica, the state of Nevada, North Dakota Department of Commerce, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Image: Texas A&M Corpus Christi researchers prepare a unmanned aircraft system for testing
Texas A&M Corpus Christi researchers prepare a unmanned aircraft system for testing at a ranch near Sarita, Texas, Jan. 15, 2014. The drone weighs about 85 pounds and has a wing span of almost 13 feet. Eric Gay / AP
Image: Marty McGregor, Matt McCurdy, John Huguley
Tech specialist Marty McGregor, left, Internal pilot Matt McCurdy, center, and mission commander John Huguley, right, monitor an unmanned aircraft system for test flight at a ranch near Sarita, Texas, Jan. 15, 2014. Eric Gay / AP
Image: A test drone with a wing span of almost 13 feet flies over a ranch near Sarita, Texas
A test drone flies over a ranch near Sarita, Texas, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Eric Gay / AP

Top photo: External pilot Michael Caciennne, left, and crew chief Jack Edward Esparza, right, prepare an unmanned aircraft system for testing at a ranch near Sarita, Texas, on Wednesday.