EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Southern New Jersey is well-positioned to study and develop unmanned drone aircraft, a study said, because of the restricted airspace around the Warren Grove Gunnery Range and ample offshore airspace.

Furthermore, the study said, both the Woodbine Airport and the Atlantic City International Airport would be good places to base a company interested in unmanned aircraft because of available aircraft services and proximity to restricted areas.

The NextGen Aviation Research Park at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center also offers opportunities unavailable elsewhere in the country, the study said.

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Unmanned aircraft, frequently called drones, are the fastest-growing aerospace technology in the world, the study said. While the growth is largely driven by military applications, the study said a growing number of civilian applications are being developed, including agriculture, surveillance and power and gas line inspection.

The South Jersey Economic District hired King Aeronautics & Astronautics Consulting to develop the study in advance of the expansion of the NextGen park.

Other benefits highlighted by the 30-page study include the relatively high education level compared to the rest of the country and the aerospace companies coming to the region because of the NextGen park.

Gordon K. Dahl, the economic district’s executive director, said the results were favorable for the region. He said in a statement, “This market is expanding at an exponential pace and we are positioning our region to capture the estimated 23,000 high-paying jobs that are projected to be created over the next decade.”

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