In Oregon, the consortium plans to operate test ranges near Pendleton, Tillamook and Warm Springs. Congress is requiring the FAA to integrate drones into the national airspace by 2015. Oregon, along with the other sites, will play a role in making sure that's done safely, says Rick Spinrad.
He's Vice President for Research at Oregon State University, one of the partners in the consortium.
Rick Spinrad: "You may have seen the 60 Minutes piece Amazon.com delivering your new razor on a unmanned aerial system right to your front door. Well, the technology may be there but the controls, the regulations, to do that - what, when, how to fly - are going to have to be tested."
Spinrad says he's hoping the FAA will clear the first flights for take-off this spring, if not sooner.