Washington, DC – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement today after the Federal Aviation Administration announced the operational status of Nevada’s Unmanned Aerial Systems test site.
“I’m pleased that the FAA has announced that Nevada’s UAS test site is ready to begin researching ways in which we can safely integrate Unmanned Aerial Systems into the National Airspace System. UAS is the future of aviation, and there is no place better than Nevada to test these technologies safely, and at the same time, bring so many good paying jobs to our state while doing so.”
In 2012, Senator Reid led passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, establishing the Federal Aviation Administration program to begin testing for the integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles–commonly referred to as drones–into the National Airspace System. Awarding Nevada the FAA test sites will have far reaching implications on the economy of Nevada. The range of jobs created includes, but is not limited to: teachers, machinists, aircraft mechanics, software developers, electrical engineers, and human resource professionals.
In December of 2013, Nevada was selected as one of six locations by the FAA to research and develop strategies and technology for UAV integration into the National Airspace System. The selection followed Nevada’s application, submitted to the FAA in May of 2013, and Senator Reid’s unrelenting work with the FAA to ensure Nevada remained competitive in the selection process. Nevada’s application included the state as the direct applicant, and a 28 member team including the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Nevada National Guard, Bowhead Systems, Navigator Development and Drone America. Team members, who represented a cross-section of public and private partners, industry and academic leaders, within the northern and southern regions of the state, identified three Test Ranges and four test sites in the State’s Application.