Drone Testing May Come to Crisfield - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Drone Testing May Come to Crisfield


CRISFIELD, Md.- The idea of testing drones on the Crisfield-Somerset Airport runway is taking off.

The Federal Aviation Administration is looking for six airports to land this pilot program, and Crisfield is on its radar.
"I think it will be good as for jobs in Crisfield," said Rukie Eize, of Crisfield.

He's right. In fact, the FAA says Maryland could see about 2,500 jobs by 2015. But a lot of people aren't onboard with the idea.

"With the drones it might make us a even bigger target," said Mary Thomas, of Crisfield. "It's a little scary. I don't know."

An unmanned aircraft, weighing 50 pounds or less, will hover over.
And with little to no noise because the FAA says most will be electric.

But noise isn't a top concern, privacy is.

"People do get paranoid and think military, government, problems," said Patrick Tawes, of Crisfield. He added, "you know.. they're spying."

Safety comes into play as well.

"It can crash and tear somebody's house and kill somebody, anything like that but I feel that there's always risk with stuff like that," said Tawes.

The idea of drones in Somerset County comes with heavy baggage.

"The first thing I think of, or use to think of was the black hawk, you know those kind of, military time things," said Danny Thompson, of the Somerset Economic Development Commission.

But Thompson says that's not the case.

"I realized now that there's a whole lot more with testing research that the university system does that goes far beyond.," said Thompson.

Crisfield isn't the FAA's final destination in it's trip around the country to find testing sites for drones. Wallops Island, in neighboring Accomack County, is also on the list.

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