Some graduate students at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi will get high-flying mapping experience without ever leaving the ground.
The school on Thursday announced Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly drones to map the campus infrastructure. The data will be used to help create 3-D models and monitor shoreline change.
The FAA in December selected Texas as one of six states for research on developing drones for commercial use. A&M-Corpus Christi, as the state's headquarters for the project, had been researching drones for about two years.
School spokeswoman Beth Becerra said Friday that the campus mapping project is tangentally related to the FAA research.
The FAA bans commercial use of drones, with the lone exception of flights off the Alaskan coast over the Arctic Ocean by Conoco Philips.