Kevin Bogardus and Keith Laing
The Hill 
Dec 14, 2012
Lobbyists for the booming drone industry are pushing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to stop delaying action on a plan that will open up U.S. skies to unmanned vehicles.
The agency has yet to select six test sites that will be used to gauge the safety of drone flights, despite a mandate to do just that under the FAA reauthorization bill that passed earlier this year. That has led to pressure from the Association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to get the process moving.
Ben Gielow, government-relations manager and general counsel for the trade group, said several states are clamoring to be selected as test sites in hopes of becoming the home base for the drone industry.
“A lot of states would like their state to be the hub of this industry,” Gielow said. “Ultimately, this is about jobs. This is about innovation.”