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ND will be one of six drone test sites

Predator Drone fires a missile - USAF Image
Predator Drone fires a missile - USAF Image

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's political leaders say the state's designation as one of six unmanned aircraft test sites should attract new technology companies, students and others to the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that North Dakota has been selected to research integrating drones into the civilian airspace, along with sites in Alaska, Nevada, New York, Texas and Virginia.

Sen. John Hoeven says the designation makes North Dakota ''the premier northern hub for unmanned aerial systems.'' He says it will boost the development of Grand Sky, a new aerospace and business complex on the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the announcement is ''good news for our state and the entire nation.''

Lawmakers approved $5 million for the site, with $4 million contingent on the selection.

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