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Montana lawmaker pushes for the use of drone aircraft in Montana

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April 15, 2011

Representative Edward Buttrey, who wants to see use of unmanned drones in Montana.

HELENA, Montana: State Senator Edward Buttrey is seeking a greater presence of unmanned aircraft in Montana, saying the possibilities for commercial applications are numerous. He says, "We can fly these across a farmer's field and tell him where he needs water, bug spray and fertilizer, and where he doesn't. We can use them for forest fire command and control, wildlife tracking."[1]

The Center for Remote Integration has launched their second Montana-made drone and are waiting for the test flight. Buttrey added, "The big issue is how do we integrate unmanned aircraft into an airspace that also has manned aircraft, how do we make sure it's safe? How do we make sure we're not running aircraft into each other? So they're going to designate testing and development areas." The Federal Aviation Administration is looking for six sites across the nation that would be able to test drones in unique conditions. Buttrey says Montana would be a perfect fit for testing and added that once drones have been approved, manufacturing and production could move into the area creating thousands of jobs.[1]

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