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During recent years, drones have experienced an unprecedented boom within aviation.  Coinciding with the increase in popularity, incidents involving drones in tourist areas, as well as risks to larger manned aircraft are on the rise and present high-liability risks to property owners. The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) has recently announced the launch of the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety (NDCOE). The mission is to save lives and reduce air hazards from drone incursions by empowering a shared safety vision with the FAA’s integration of drones into the commercial air traffic system.

NDCOE, located in Las Vegas, will provide safety incursion research data, drone technology best practices, educational materials, and the new center will conduct public workshops that promote and protect the public’s safety and privacy in an open and ethical manner.  

The center seeks to protect against drone users who pose a public safety hazard due to inexperience and/or malicious drone operations, e.g., drones hitting people or that have the potential to cause an airline disaster, and who violate your safety, privacy, or drone laws near high traffic public places, at airports, near military bases, or critical infrastructure.  

NDCOE will also advance Drone Surveillance, Detect, and Avoid (remote sensing), wildland firefighting, gas-leak detection, and time-sensitive medical delivery technologies for life-saving medical equipment and organs.

“We are taking an aggressive approach toward solving the complex UAV Industry challenge of mitigating drone incursions into the National Airspace System (NAS)—one of the toughest FAA challenges today.   What we are doing in Nevada will be of immense value to the DOT, FAA, DHS, DOJ, commercial airlines, visitor venues, and the UAV Industry. This new center will help advance infrastructure protections, drone detection innovations, enhance air safety, and expand air commerce in Nevada,” said Dr. Chris Walach, Senior Director, NIAS and the FAA-designated Nevada UAV Test Site.