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Drone technology touted at LR forum

If approved, test site in Oklahoma expected to benefit Arkansas economically

By Emily Walkenhorst, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 9/14/13

Unmanned aerial systems - better known as "drones" - aren't yet legal for commercial use, but the technology could still bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars to Arkansas in the next few years, according to officials and drone commercialization supporters who spoke at a forum in Little Rock on Friday.

Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma's secretary of science and technology, told an audience of a few dozen people that he expects 2,000 more jobs and a multibillion-dollar economic impact in Oklahoma if the state is designated a drone test site by the Federal Aviation Administration by the end of the year.

McKeever; U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark; Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., and others spoke at the Arkansas Aerospace Alliance's Unmanned Aerial Systems Forum at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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