Congress requires that research and development for commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) happen on test ranges approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Oregon was one of 13 states included in the recent test site approvals completed by the FAA, and the only one on the west coast.
Pendleton is one of three Oregon test ranges.
The state hopes to attract private sector drone developers and servicers. Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency will provide $1.6 million in loans and grants to support the City of Pendleton’s ongoing work to build out its test range.
The second phase of development on the test site will include building four to six hangars, storage, and communications equipment. State officials project the total project to cost $1.8 million. The bulk of early development has already been paid for by the city of Pendleton, with another $146,000 in municipal funds slated to go toward the project.
“This new funding represents more than an investment in a few concrete pads and buildings,” said Governor Brown. “It demonstrates that when presented with a unique chance to seize an innovative market, State government is poised to step forward to support the community leaders who are working hard to develop a new industry.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com