With Governor’s Support, Nevada Pursues FAA UAS Integration Program

The State of Nevada says it has completed the first step for applying to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP).

By filing a notice of intent, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) will serve as Nevada’s lead applicant for the program, which was developed as an opportunity for state, local and tribal governments to partner with private-sector entities, such as UAS operators or manufacturers, to prepare proposals for more advanced UAS operations, such as beyond visual line-of-sight or UAS operations over people. Only five spots are guaranteed for the program.

“Our state has become a world leader in advancing what is possible with unmanned aircraft systems, and that is why we are excited and confident this opportunity to continue working with the FAA will help accelerate the integration of the technology into our airspace, economy and daily lives for the betterment of all Nevadans,” says Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev.

Paul Anderson, incoming executive director of GOED, adds, “Building on the momentum of securing the FAA UAV test site designation in 2013 and pioneering some of the most innovative uses of drones anywhere, Nevada is up for the challenge to develop and submit a cutting-edge proposal for this new initiative, which we hope will continue to boost this growing industry in Nevada. We are earnestly working to identify key UAS industry partners, from Nevada-grown companies to Fortune 50 corporations, in a collaborative effort to make the Silver State stand out from a crowded field in what is shaping up to be a hotly contested bid process.”

In July 2013, GOED entered into a grant agreement with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), a nonprofit corporation created to provide oversight of testing at the federal drone testing site in Nevada. Since that time, NIAS has participated in a number of notable demonstrations, including flying a fixed-wing UAS more than 97 miles to Austin, Texas, using cellular connectivity.

Nov. 28 was the deadline to submit a notice of intent, and Dec. 13 and Jan. 4 are deadlines to complete the next phases of the application process.

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