Unmanned aircraft could be making their way from the battlefield to the airport.
These planes would most likely be used to police the skies, patrol borders and transport cargo.
The human fear factor will likely prevent the idea of a passenger airline without a human at the helm, however.
Unmanned airplanes have almost become another branch of the military, dropping bombs, spying on terrorist camps and even threatening enemy aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now government and aviation experts are planning to make room for more robot aircraft over domestic skies: working as airborne traffic cops, patrolling the border and maybe even shuttling cargo between cities.
It's not a sci-fi fantasy. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration is now studying how to safely fit these unmanned aircraft into the nation's busy commercial airspace.
"The success in the military has started to bleed over to the civilian environment," said Wesley Randall, a former Air Force logistics officer and professor at Auburn University's department of supply chain management. "People are saying this isn't a niche, gee-whiz technology. These are things you need to think about."