Communities Compete to Be Silicon Valley of Domestic Drone Production

The Takeaway
Across the country, states are vying to attract the engineers who will build our new domestic drone force, and they're finding that being a hub for drone production and testing could be a major economic boom for their area.   According to Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, local governments see the potential: "You have all of these different locals around the nation looking at the award of these test sites as their chance to get in on the bottom floor; their chance to be the Silicon Valley equivalent."   Ryan Delaney, a reporter from WRVO in upstate New York, has been spending time with some of the advocates competing to attract drone-makers to their own airspace. According to Delaney, attracting drone production has the potential to be immensely profitable. "[This is] a $94 billion industry we're talking about worldwide over the next decade… Upstate New York obviously wants to get as big of a chunk of that as they can." Robert Knauff is a retired Air Force Major General who serves as the Chief Operating Officer on a coalition in upstate New York that is trying to establish a Federal testing site. He believes that locations like upstate New York with already established restricted military air spaces have a distinct   advantage. "You can build remotely piloted aircraft anywhere, what you can't do is operate it. And if you have the airspace, there's a powerful incentive to build close to where you're going to do the flying, the testing, and the operating."
Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.