‘It’s the future’: Small prairie village pins economic fortunes on drones

Story by Kyle Bakx, CBC News

“When Ken Kultgen looks up in the air, it’s not birds or planes that he sees, but the future. And it comes in the shape of a drone. 

“Lots of communities envy where we are at,” said Kultgen, the longtime mayor of Foremost, a village of about 500 people located 300 kilometres southeast of Calgary near the U.S. border. His boast speaks volumes for a community that’s hardly distinctive in the area, let alone on the prairie.

There’s a drone testing range in Quebec, but Foremost is home to Canada’s only testing range to fly drones beyond line of sight, which allows an unmanned aircraft to travel a few dozen kilometres, instead of just one or two. Companies using the facility include Ontario-based Drone Delivery Canada, which has signed deals with Staples and NAPA Auto Parts, which are both interested in using new technology to expand their ability to ship products to customers or from one depot to another.  

While major Canadian cities grapple with the popularity of recreational drones and the push by companies to fly commercially, a place like Foremost offers something different. Drones can be tested in a massive area on the wide-open prairie, far away from buildings and people.

Foremost is an ideal testing area for flying drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles since the area has such a small population, few trees and receives barely any rain.”

For complete story, visit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/foremost-uav-drones-1.4146655

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