New OK for Out-of-Sight Flights Expands Ohio Drone Research

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) – Researchers will expand testing of defense-related drone technology with new permission to fly beyond their line of sight in a limited area of Ohio.

The Federal Aviation Administration authorized that after the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the state developed new technology called SkyVision, which functions as sort of air traffic control system for drones. Officials announced Friday that testing using that detection system will be allowed in a 200 square-mile segment of airspace near the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

Gov. Mike DeWine says that positions Ohio as an important asset for such research and creates potential for commercial companies to test their own drone technology using SkyVision. It will be operated by experts from the Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center.