Oklahoma signs agreement with Arkansas for interstate air commerce and development

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma and Arkansas signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a corridor for drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to fly more freely between Tulsa and Bentonville, Arkansas.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed the new agreement at the Oklahoma State University- Tulsa campus Wednesday morning.

The corridor will set up a large area for companies to research and test advanced mobility. Some of the vehicles and projects being studied and used will be drones, electric and autonomous vehicles, battery manufacturing, and transportation and logistics solutions.

The hope is to create 55,000 new high tech jobs that will be set up in the two states, and companies like Walmart, QuikTrip, and J.B. Hunt will help to pilot some of the emerging technologies.

There will also be direct recruitment from higher education. career tech, and specialized schools where the skills needed for these jobs will be taught so people can live and work where they trained instead of going to the coasts to earn a living with their training.

The agreement also partners certain things being taught at the University of Arkansas with OSU-Tulsa.