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Nevada drone testing means big money, good jobs

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Nevada drone testing means big money, good jobs

CREATED Dec 30, 2013

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Gov. Brian Sandoval and others excited about Nevada's selection as one of six national drone testing sites say they're ready to hit the ground running to capitalize on the futuristic industry they think will bring billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the state.

Sandoval told reporters Monday it's an historic decision that he thinks will mean up to $2.5 billion in economic impact plus another $125 million in state and local tax revenue.

Tom Wilczek, the governor's aerospace specialist, says backers of the effort overcame the regional infighting that sometimes plagues economic development efforts in Nevada.

Testing of the unmanned commercial aircraft will occur at the Fallon Naval Air Station, Stead Airport north of Reno, Boulder City Airport and Desert Rock near the Nevada National Security Site.

The other states chosen are Alaska, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia.

Drones have been mainly used by the military, but governments, businesses, farmers and others are making plans to join the market. Many universities are starting or expanding drone programs.