Could Drone Tech Replace Virginia’s Dying Coal Industry?

The southwest area of Virginia is going through a possible financial cave-in and the drone could save the day.

The poverty-stricken space is operating out of financial gasoline as the world coal dries up, sucking thousands and thousands of and jobs from the Virginia economic system

In the city of Wise, former state legislator Jack Kennedy is main an effort to interchange coal jobs with drone jobs. In a latest interview with, Kennedy laid out a plan to draw high-tech UAV corporations to the world that will initially see a mass testing program to certify as many FAA-approved, native drone pilots as doable.

“We want to develop [the drone-industry] niche, and do it well,” Kennedy mentioned. “If we develop human capital, they will come. It’s not about building the infrastructure. It’s educating the human.”

Kennedy hopes coaching a large group of native mechanics and pilots will appeal to drone firms to Wise. He additionally factors out the world’s topography is ideal for drone testing.

“Half of Wise County is national forest, 10 percent is state forest and another 25 percent is mined land,” Kennedy instructed “As a result, there’s a lot of room for error.”

Wise County has already made its mark within the annals of drone historical past, internet hosting the first-ever U.S. drone supply take a look at in 2015. A quadcopter manufactured by Flirtey delivered a four kg package deal of medical provides from Lonesome Pine Airport in Virginia to a clinic positioned on the Wise County Fairgrounds.

Kennedy says the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority has recognized the drone as a “targeted business sector.” Representatives of the division have already attended a number of drone-industry conferences and expos to get the lay of the land.

Virginia has led the best way in fostering a drone-friendly environment throughout the state. In 2014, the FAA authorized the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems take a look at website program in Blacksburg.

In 2016, the FAA authorized a flight hall for analysis as much as 7,000 toes over an space of 5,000 sq. miles in Virginia close to the Blacksburg take a look at website.

Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid curiosity in all issues tech. He focuses on anti-drone applied sciences and the general public security sector; police, hearth, and search and rescue.

Beginning his profession as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited hundreds of partaking information articles, weblog posts, press releases and on-line content material. He has received a number of media awards through the years and has since expanded his experience into the organizational and academic communications sphere.

In addition to his proficiency within the discipline of enhancing and writing, Jason has additionally taught communications on the college stage and continues to guide seminars and coaching classes within the areas of media relations, enhancing/writing and social media engagement.

Email Jason

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