PENDLETON, OR -- The Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton is now the premier test site in the Pacific Northwest for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) visited the Pendleton UAS Range Thursday to congratulate the team on their work to expand the use of drones. "You all were showing us tremendous progress really early on," Wyden told the group, "Mountaintop rescue, precision agriculture, really exciting work done in terms of fighting fires - little drones getting in there, relaying the information."
Wyden says the facility's growth began in 2015 when the FAA cut red tape for unmanned aircraft test sites. "And then you all said, ‘we can make a big difference in the lives of a lot of people and the workers who are getting good wages, and the economic multiplier of the benefits'."
The site now boasts a 14,000 square mile test range, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle industrial park, a dedicated UAS air traffic control tower and soon, a neighboring Radisson Hotel. "It has been a wonderful ride watching all of you build this out in eastern Oregon," said Wyden, "You did it!"