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Center of Attention

December 25, 2013 - Steve Schulwitz
Is anyone else as eager to see if MIAASC and Alpena County are awarded one of the six centers of excellence for unmanned aircraft testing from the Federal Aviation Administration?

The FAA is supposed to release the locations of the six sites by the end of the year, but as the days dwindle in 2013, no announcement has taken place. The sites, which will be used to develop technology and protocols that will allow for safe integration for the aircrafts into the sky for commercial use in 2015, promise to be an economic boom for the states that receive the accreditation and competition if fierce.

Because I am one of the few in the media who has followed this story since its inception, I of course am getting excited for a conclusion, no matter how it plays out for Michigan — and especially Alpena.

So I will continue to do my Google searches every 15 minutes, refreshing my Twitter feed and visiting the FAA website looking for an update on the big news.

As big as Meijer announcing it is going to build a store in Alpena, landing unmanned aircraft business and the COE could make it look small in comparison. Everyone should be as excited about this as I am because it could have the same type of impact on Alpena as cement production and logging had in years gone by.

No matter the results, I want to tell everyone involved that they have done a good job of selling Michigan and Alpena to the FAA. The ball is now out of your hands, but maybe, just maybe, this game will end with a slam dunk for the home team.

Time to check Twitter again!


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