Ohio airport gets radar equipment to help drone research

A hexacopter drone is flown during a drone demonstration at a farm and winery on potential use for board members of the National Corn Growers, Thursday, June 11, 2015 in Cordova, Md. Routine commercial use of small drones got a green light from the Obama administration June 21, 2016, after years of struggling to write regulations that would both protect public safety and unleash the economic potential and societal benefits of the new technology. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio airport has received mobile radar equipment to help with research on drones.

The equipment at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport came through state and federal grants.

An official with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base says the equipment will be used to test beyond line of sight operation of the unmanned aircraft.

Currently drones can only be flown in the line of sight of the pilots. Researchers will test flying them farther and using radar and other technology to avoid crashes.

Art Hubbell, director of operations at the Air Force laboratory, says the Federal Aviation Administration requires that the aircraft be able to avoid airborne collisions with other air traffic.

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