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Efforts to bring more aviation jobs to Central Oregon are seeing some encouraging signs. Economic Development of Central Oregon and Oregon State University are announcing a partnership that will allow them to do research and development projects involving unmanned aerial systems. Collins Hemmingway is the chair of the EDCO Aviation Recruitment Committee. He is encouraged by the development of this collaborative drone program.  “Our whole goal is to try and bring back the 800 jobs that were lost when we had two bankruptcies at the Bend Airport. The technology is very similar, we're talking small unmanned vehicles, instead of manned vehicles. Unmanned area is the only area in aviation that's growing right now.” Central Oregon is still waiting on a final decision by the FAA on six test areas for these drones.

 

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