Exclusive: Minn. Drone School Draws Students, Controversy

Updated: 09/18/2013 3:26 PM KSTP.com By: Mark Albert

They're used on the battlefield and in war. Soon,  drones will be coming to Minnesota's airspace.

The FAA is preparing to open American airspace to domestic uses of unarmed drones and Minnesota is competing with 36 other states to be one of the nation's first test sites.

Now, a small Minnesota college boasts it is the first in the nation to train students how to maintain drones, and has also launched a program to teach students on how to interpret the data the remotely-piloted machines send back.

But critics say the college is really "training people to work in a spy program, spying on the United States."

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Mark Albert and Chad Nelson take you to Drone School.

Watch our story above.

Click here to learn more about the unmanned aerial systems program at Northland Community & Technical College.

Click here to watch Minn. Wants Dollars, Not Defense as Drone Test Site from Apr. 3, 2013.

Click here to watch MN Lawmaker Wants Limits on 'Spies in the Sky' Drones from Feb. 18, 2013.