Springfield test center gets OK for drone projects

The Ohio/Indiana Unmanned Aerial Systems Center in Springfield has received federal permission for projects ranging from scanning for invasive species near Akron to looking for ways to prevent rock slides in southern Ohio.

The news comes at a time when interest in using drones for business and other purposes is expanding rapidly. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to release rules that would detail how businesses could safely use the drones as early as this summer, said David Gallagher, a spokesman for the UAS Test Center in Springfield. In the meantime, the FAA is allowing some businesses and government entities to operates the drones under specific conditions.

“I think we’re out there more than most states,” Gallagher said. “We’re trying to prepare for what people are saying is an economic boom and make sure we’re helping small businesses fly and agencies test this new technology.”

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