MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 17, 2013

Report shows Okla. poised for aerospace job growth


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin and aerospace officials say Oklahoma is on the verge of a huge economic boost connected to the unmanned aerial vehicle industry in the state.

Fallin on Wednesday highlighted data from an industry-commissioned study that shows Oklahoma likely will see nearly 600 new jobs in the first three years after the Federal Aviation Administration completes a plan to integrate unmanned vehicles into U.S. airspace.

The process is expected to be complete by 2015.

Fallin's Secretary of Technology Stephen McKeever says programs already have been developed at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma to train students in the field. And the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has established a test facility for unmanned aerial vehicles in Elgin that takes advantage of unrestricted air space at Fort Sill.