Economic development officials in Arizona are trying to leverage several of their prime military assets — open air space and ideal flying weather — to grow the state’s aerospace and defense industries.
Defense contractors currently are conducting several tests a week of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in restricted airspace over land used by the Arizona National Guard above Mesa. Local officials hope it can be designated as one of the nation’s sites for UAV testing.
While the area in Mesa is expected to generate growth in the UAV industry, larger opportunities exist closer to Fort Huachuca and Yuma Proving Ground, reports the East Valley Tribune. The world’s largest UAV training center is at Huachuca, located in the state’s southeast corner in Sierra Vista. The training center trains 3,000 UAV operators and technicians.