The pragmatist sees a chance to make money.
"The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that the new regulations will result in '100,000 jobs created and economic impact of $82 billion' by 2025," reported Popular Science last summer. "For several cities and states across the country, that means one thing: ka-ching."
Some of the earliest installments of that money will go to North Dakota. An FAA program has selected it as host of one of six test sites charged with developing systems and procedures to ensure that drones will be able to operate safely in the United States.
From MPR News:
Drones will be allowed to fly in a large test area in northeastern North Dakota. The FAA did not provide funding with the test site designation. However, North Dakota has set aside $4 million to start operations, and future funding is expected to come from the aviation industry and the federal government. ...
The FAA plans to slowly integrate drones into the national airspace. The first step will allow them for some specific uses, perhaps in agriculture or law enforcement. Then, as technology advances, more unmanned craft will be allowed in the air. ...
The North Dakota site will research technology that allows unmanned aircraft to safely sense and avoid other aircraft. They will test aircraft in a variety of weather conditions and they will help develop pilot training requirements.
We'll sort out what's happening now with drone research and implementation, and where it might lead.