Oregon’s Pendleton UAS Test Range (PUR) is now one of two ranges in the U.S. with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for UAS flights up to 9,999 feet, during the day or night, and within the visual line of sight.
The FAA awarded the Certification of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for large drones over 55 pounds throughout the entire 14,000 square miles of the test range. UAS operations are also now permitted to originate from and land at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport within Class D airspace.
PUR says the authorization is the result of collaboration between teams at the test range, ArgenTech Solutions, the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex, SOAR Oregon, and the FAA.
“The development of this COA was a huge team effort through the successful FAA approval process. It’s going to open a lot of doors for timely, effective UAS testing here in eastern Oregon,” comments Steve Chrisman, manager of PUR.
Additionally, the FAA cleared operators to transition flights between Pendleton and other test site COAs to more effectively streamline research and development efforts: The range can now host large UAS in Class D, Class G and Class E airspace.
“This COA truly opens up the entire Pendleton range for broad-scale UAS testing in a vastly expanded envelope,” says Chuck Allen, executive director of SOAR Oregon.
PUR says Jen Armstrong and the team at ArgenTech invested significant resources into the design and approval process.
“This expanded flight capability will help us continue to push the envelope – developing new processes and procedures that ensure safety while delivering greater flight test possibilities to our customers,” notes Armstrong.