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Florida company invests $350,000 in Covington drone operating center

A commercial drone company announced plans to invest $350,000 in a drone operations command and control center in Covington. The project will create 25 new jobs.

Aeronyde Corp., based in Melbourne, Florida, provides aerial informatics to the energy, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry and public safety industries. The company focuses on drone-based data acquisition and machine learning analysis, according to a news release from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office.

Virginia competed with California and Florida for the project, which is being supported by the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The program provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs to reduce human resources costs.

Aeronyde will join the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone, a drone research and recreational facility in Covington. The project started in fall 2017 after receiving $100,000 in federal funding to convert a former primary school into a drone research center. The grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission was matched with $100,000 in local money.

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