FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Officials say North Dakota’s uncongested airspace and unpredictable weather make the state an ideal spot for an unmanned aerial systems test site.

The state has committed $1 million in promotional costs and $4 million in operational costs in an effort to become one of six operations throughout the country to test civilian drones — in good weather and bad.

North Dakota Department of Commerce spokesman Brian Opp says the airspace in northeastern North Dakota is already designated for drone use by the University of North Dakota, so it would be a smooth transition.

Opp says two of the primary uses for drones are agriculture and energy, which also makes the state a good fit for the test center.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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