Colorado Groups Aim To Land Federal Drone Test Site

DENVER (AP) – A small Denver-area airport and business groups in Denver and Colorado Springs are forming a partnership to pursue one of six new federal training sites for remotely piloted aircraft or drones.

Front Range Airport, the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. said Tuesday that Colorado’s location, climate and infrastructure are a good fit for a test range.

Congress last year directed the Federal Aviation Administration and the Pentagon to designate locations to test ways to integrate remotely piloted aircraft into U.S. airspace.

Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., says Colorado already has an established aerospace industry with nearly $3 billion in annual payroll.

The three groups say commercial drones could help Colorado agriculture, search and rescue teams and firefighters.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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