ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The governors of Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey have thrown their support behind three universities’ applications to collaborate on a test site for drones.

Govs. Martin O’Malley, D-Maryland; Robert McDonnell, R-Virginia and Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, sent a letter Friday to federal transportation and aviation officials. They are supporting a proposal by three universities to operate one of six test sites for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System.

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The University System of Maryland, Rutgers University and Virginia Tech University agreed to collaborate to bid for a test site.

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The FAA is required to develop sites where civilian and military drones can be tested in preparation for integration into U.S. airspace that’s currently limited to manned aircraft.

The FAA is expected to select the sites by year’s end.

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