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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.
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.