Could Kansas become the drone capital of the world?

A week after participating in the Senate filibuster on drones, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., announced that Kansas is one of the top 10 states predicted to benefit the most as production of unmanned aerial systems increases. Moran, who is a member of a Senate UAS caucus (who knew that existed?), cited a new report estimating a projected economic impact in Kansas of $2.9 billion and an estimated 3,716 new jobs between 2015 and 2025. “Kansas already boasts the necessary attributes to manage UAS activities: airspace for UAS operations; multiple airport support facilities; university research and development on sensors, airframes and engines; university flight and operations training; and avionics development and manufacturing capabilities,” Moran said in a statement, adding that “the future for UAS in Kansas – the Air Capital of the World – is bright.” Meanwhile, a bill in the Legislature, House Bill 2394, would prohibit the operation of drones in Kansas while carrying a lethal payload and prohibit law enforcement agencies from using drones to collect evidence.