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Unmanned aircraft industry to bring jobs to Okla.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Executives from the unmanned aerospace industry (UAS) will be meeting with Gov. Mary Fallin Wednesday to talk about bringing jobs to Oklahoma.

Michael Toscano, President and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), and Steve Gitlin, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for AeroVironment, talked with News Channel 4’s Ali Meyer about the unmanned aircraft industry on the morning show.

According to Toscana and Gitlin, there are a number of applications for first responders to use small five and a half pound, battery-powered vehicles in areas that are difficult or dangerous for manned vehicles to fly.

“It’s going to help first responders save lives and protect property all over the U.S. and all over the world,” Gitlin said.

An unmanned vehicle can be stored in a police officer’s trunk and readied for flight in five minutes or less.

Experts estimate more than 600 high-paying, quality jobs could be created by the UAS industry in just three years.

The group will be sharing their research with Gov. Fallin Wednesday.

They will unveil data from the group’s report on the economic impact and job creation potential UAS in Oklahoma during a 2:30 p.m. press conference with the governor.

“You would have a $57 million economic impact to the community,” Gatlin said.

According to AUVSI, their data indicates Oklahoma is poised to benefit significantly from the rapidly growing unmanned systems industry.

Here’s more information about AUVSI.

Gov. Fallin formed the Unmanned Aerial Systems Council in 2011 to support the development of the industry.

The governor’s UAS council has since released a strategic plan to help make Oklahoma a premier place for UAS research, development and testing.