It’s the only industry that promises a boon to the American economy and a better way to kill terrorists. Those who make and market drones say it could add 82-billion dollars to the economy after the FAA allows for their commercial use in 2015, but video of Hellfire missile strikes and rumors of government drones spying on Americans have complicated the industry.
We sent KCPT Special Correspondent Sam Zeff to Kansas State University, one of the leading drone research institutions in the country, to investigate. K-State is one of the first two Universities in the U.S. to offer a Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
While the Kansas National Guard doesn’t own any drones now, it is still participating in research. Its 190th Air Refueling Wing at Forbes Field in Topeka has been working with the Air Force on developing unmanned refueling tankers. As for the politics: Representative Casey Guernsey says he will continue pushing his drone bill next year in Jefferson City. A similar bill in Kansas also failed to pass but its sponsor also says it will be back next session.