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Central Oregon is Perfect for Drone Testing


Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is hoping it will help jump-start the aviation industry in Central Oregon. Tonight, the Bend City Council will be asked to endorse a proposal to designate the vast desert between Burns and Brothers as a test area for drone aircraft. “And that is one reason we started reaching out to the UAS, the Unmanned Aerial Systems or drones market. That seems to be the one area where there is money. The government is funding a lot of research and development, a lot of private parties are working on this systems. They can be used for the military, which is their primary use and where most people know them from, but also law enforcement and forest fires.” Collins Hemingway is Chairman of the Aviation Recruitment Committee for EDCO. The hope is that they will be able to share the airspace with the military.   Hemingway says there is a lack of drone testing airspace in the U.S. and having such an area here could attract that industry. The request would have to go before the FAA, and Hemingway says if they drag their feet, then Oregon’s congressmen may have to get involved. Hemingway says having the city and county endorse the project would show there is local support.


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