State, federal officials mark start of unmanned aircraft systems research at Virginia Tech

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BLACKSBURG, Virginia — State and federal leaders are marking the start of research on unmanned aircraft systems being done at Virginia Tech.

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and others on Wednesday marked the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership's first flight.

The visit to the Blacksburg campus included a demonstration of an unmanned aircraft gathering information at a mock auto accident scene.

Last year, Virginia Tech was selected by the FAA as a research site for unmanned aircraft systems.

Led by Virginia Tech, the mid-Atlantic-based component of the national effort will also involve the University of Maryland and Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The research will help guide the agency as it works to introduce commercial versions of the unmanned aircraft into busy U.S. airspace.

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