Some residents against drone test sites coming to Huntsville - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Some residents against drone test sites coming to Huntsville

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They have many names, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aircrafts, but they're better known as drones. They have many names, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aircrafts, but they're better known as drones.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

They have many names, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aircrafts, but they're better known as drones.

They could soon be hovering over parts of North Alabama.

The Federal Aviation Administration is looking for six sites to become testing grounds and local leaders in Huntsville want to be on that list.

The interest in a test site is already getting push back from folks in the community with a Facebook page protesting the idea.

Brandie Dymond, who took her protest to the street, picked the best corner in downtown Huntsville for enough cars and foot traffic to get a good look at her signs.

"A lot of people don't even realize this is going on. I've had several people drive by and say, 'What are drones?' and I'm like really," said Dymond.

Dymond created the Facebook page, Protest Domestic Drones after hearing that Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is throwing his support behind an effort to have the city become one of six sites designated by the FAA to become testing grounds for researching domestic drones because it would automatically mean more jobs for the area.

"My concern is that we have unmanned aerial vehicles flying around the sky watching everything that we are doing, and I feel like they don't have any business being there," added Dymond.

However, having eyes in sky hits the target of the kind of business happening in the Huntsville area already.

Redstone Arsenal is army headquarters for the development and management of unmanned aircrafts as it is.

"We're already engineering, we're already developing the unmanned aerial vehicles, so if we could add production to it and testing too, we have it cradle to grave and when you take that cradle to grave, that means jobs to the area," said Battle.

At least overseas, drones have the reputation of spying, seeking out, and killing the enemy.

The FAA is working to come with requirements to avoid privacy issues while doing the real job of safely integrating unmanned vehicles into national airspace by the year 2015.

Battle added that research has benefits.

"The day that we had the April 27th tornadoes, unmanned vehicles would have been great to have that morning that could follow the lines and tell you what the damage was and send you back the pictures of what the damage was," he said.

Dymond laughed at the idea saying we already have satellites to do that.

With job factor being a benefit for any city, Huntsville is not the only one vying for the opportunity.

There's already interest from cities in more than 30 states to be a testing site.

The FAA will choose the sites by the end of this year.

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