The U.S. aviation regulator on Monday named six U.S. locations that will create centers for research and testing of unmanned aircraft systems, part of a long-term effort to expand use of the systems in the national airspace.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the research and test sites will be developed by the University of Alaska, the state of Nevada, Griffiss International Airport in New York state, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which includes locations in New Jersey.

"These test sites will give us valuable information about how best to ensure the safe introduction of this advanced technology into our nation's skies," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

The FAA received 25 applications from 24 states.