Stead, Fallon Chosen as Federal Drone Test Sites

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): “This is wonderful news for Nevada that creates a huge opportunity for our economy. Nevada has long been a leader in the UAS Industry, and no state makes a better candidate than ours. With this application approval, Nevada will continue to lead in new and innovative technologies of the 21st century, along with creating a large and profitable industry.”

Governor Brian Sandoval: “Being selected as one of six sites for UAV development in the country is a historic moment for Nevada. With the climate and air space of Nevada, we are uniquely equipped to help expand the development of UAVs. We have also partnered with private industry and academia to establish the curriculum necessary to create the UAS civilian workforce of the future in Nevada. Our state has been preparing for this selection and we are ready to enter this new era of aviation history."

Senator Dean Heller, (R-NV): "Considering that Nevada continues to lead the nation in unemployment, the FAA’s decision is both welcome and well-timed. Nevada has long been a leader in UAS development and testing. Given our state’s geographic location, extremely qualified workforce, and strong partnerships with universities, Nevada is well-positioned to ensure the success of these programs." 

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Gov. Brian Sandoval and others excited about Nevada's selection as one of six national drone testing sites say they're ready to hit the ground running to capitalize on the futuristic industry they think will bring billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the state.

Sandoval told reporters Monday it's an historic decision that he thinks will mean up to $2.5 billion in economic impact plus another $125 million in state and local tax revenue.

Tom Wilczek, the governor's aerospace specialist, says backers of the effort overcame the regional infighting that sometimes plagues economic development efforts in Nevada.

Testing of the unmanned commercial aircraft will occur at the Fallon Naval Air Station, Stead Airport north of Reno, Boulder City Airport and Desert Rock near the Nevada National Security Site.


LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration has chosen six states to develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the unmanned aircraft's march into U.S. skies.

The FAA announced Monday the sites will be based in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia.

Drones have been mainly used by the military, but governments, businesses, farmers and others are making plans to join the market. Many universities are starting or expanding drone programs.

The FAA does not allow commercial use of drones, but it is working to develop operational guidelines by the end of 2015. Officials concede it may take longer.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says safety is the first priority in moving drones into U.S. airspace.

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