- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Virginia is among 10 states that have been selected for a federal pilot program aimed at increasing government and commercial use of unmanned aircraft.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the winners Wednesday for the three-year drone program. Transportation officials say 149 applications were received.

A press release says the day-to-day operations of the program in Virginia will be managed by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, which runs a drone test site in Blacksburg.

Eleanor Nelsen is a spokeswoman with Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. She says a lot of specifics including flight locations are still being ironed out. But she says Virginia’s proposal focused on applications in package delivery, emergency management and infrastructure inspection.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in a statement that Virginia’s selection means the state “will be at the forefront of this revolution.”



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