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Oklahoma Not On The List Of Drone Testing Sites

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In the spring of 2012, Governor Fallin created the Governor's Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Council and the strategic plan recommended Oklahoma become an official FAA test site. In the spring of 2012, Governor Fallin created the Governor's Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Council and the strategic plan recommended Oklahoma become an official FAA test site.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

For years, Oklahoma has been seen as a front runner in UAS development. And now states such as Texas and Utah will be making strides under the title of an FAA test site.

"That strategic plan had this as just a component, not a key component," said Secretary of Science and Technology, Dr. Stephen McKeever.

12/30/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma Falls Short In Federal Bid For Drone Site

In the spring of 2012, Governor Fallin created the Governor's Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Systems Council and the strategic plan recommended Oklahoma become an official FAA test site.

"We will be looking and looking at the next steps going forward," Dr. McKeever said.

But now, the Secretary of Science and Technology, Dr. Stephen McKeever, and the council will have to rewrite that plan after Oklahoma was not selected by the FAA.

"We are very disappointed of course, but one of the important things we have to point out is that this is not an essential part of our strategy, but a nice part," said Dr. McKeever.

It's nice part that only came with a title and no financial backing.

"The selection does not come with any money, it's just a flag in the ground," Dr. McKeever said.

Texas, along with Utah, Nevada, Virginia, Alaska, North Dakota, will now have that flag in the ground as those states were selected as the six test sites.

In an official statement, the FAA's Les Dorr told News 9,

"All the proposals we received were quality proposals, and we selected the six sites we felt best satisfied our overall research goals."

The Oklahoma UAS council has not received word as to why Oklahoma was not selected, but Dr. McKeever reassures Oklahoma is still on track to play a major role in the 100,000 jobs and $82 billion in estimated economic activity created nationwide from commercial UAS.

"Some partners we have been talking to will continue," Dr. McKeever said.

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