- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi has become drone central of sorts, kicking into high gear an experimental program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to see how unmanned craft might best be adopted by the business sector.

The campus was one of six FAA-selected testing sites for drone technology. Specifically, it was selected to determine how drones might best be used for commercial reasons by the year 2016.

Another FAA-backed test site in North Dakota is due to start a program of experimentation in the near future to determine how drones might be used to survey crops and help with agriculture, Fox News reported.

The Texas A&M testing comes on the heels of advertising campaigns by Amazon and Domino’s Pizza, to name just a couple, to use drones for deliveries. The FAA has to approve the usage.

“I believe [drones] are going to be a big part of our future,” said Texas A&M president Flavius Killebrew, in Fox News. “Maybe not in the way you see in the [blue-sky promotions put out by Amazon and Domino’s] but in ways that we haven’t even conceived of yet.”

The FAA estimates that roughly 7,000 commercial aircraft fly U.S. skies at any given moment, and the challenge is to determine how — and if — drones can safely share that airspace.