Drones to be tested on Cape Cod
Get used to seeing drones in the skies over Cape Cod.
Joint Base Cape Cod, commonly called Otis Air Base, has been chosen by the FAA for the testing of unmanned commercial drone aircraft starting next year.
Officials with the Massachusetts Air National Guard said initial testing in Massachusetts will be in restricted airspace above the base and along the coastline.
Testing will start with small drones just a few feet across, but eventually could grow to large unmanned aircraft the size of the A-10 Warthog.
The testing of new technology means new jobs in southeastern Massachusetts. The government said the drone work could bring 1,000 new jobs and about $400 million in economic benefits to the area.
"Today's announcement by the FAA is a major step forward for Joint Base Cape Cod and a huge win for the entire Cape community," U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., said in a statement.
Keating said at a time when cutbacks are forcing closures at military bases, the drone research program makes Otis more valuable than ever.