Ohio has agreed to a $1.5 million contract with the U.S. Air Force to work on a ground-based system for monitoring airspace for drones at a southwestern Ohio airport.

The Ohio Controlling Board approved the funding this week.

The Springfield News-Sun reported that the Air Force and the state plan to jointly invest $5 million in research equipment in hopes that Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport will receive Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly drones beyond engineers’ sight lines.

FAA regulations require that aircraft be able to see and avoid other aircraft. The new system under development by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton would use ground-sensors to monitor the airspace for remotely piloted unmanned aircraft.