The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) has launched the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety (NDCOE), located in Las Vegas. The NDCOE aims to reduce air hazards from drone incursions by providing drone technology best practices, educational materials and public workshops to promote and protect the public’s safety and privacy.
The center seeks to protect against unmanned aircraft system (UAS) users who pose a public safety hazard due to inexperience and/or malicious intent. Such operations that injure people or fly near airports, military bases, or other critical infrastructure. NDCOE also seeks to advance drone surveillance, detect and avoid; wildland firefighting, gas-leak detection; and medical deliveries.
Over the last few years, drones have experienced an unprecedented boom in 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. Earlier this year, someone posted video footage of a drone flying within feet of a plane landing at Las Vegas McCarran Int’l Airport. Many drone enthusiasts and industry leaders publicly condemned the drone pilot’s reckless flight. This types of incidents endanger the lives of passengers, and the industry wants to keep the skies safe for all users of the National Airspace System
“In addition to fostering major advances in UAS technology with testing partners like the FAA, NASA, and Switch, Nevada is also home to the most registered drone users in the nation in Las Vegas,” says Paul Anderson, executive director of the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development. “This dynamic makes such a program as the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety a natural step as drones increasingly become a bigger part of our daily lives.”
“We are taking an aggressive approach toward solving the complex UAS industry challenge of mitigating drone incursions into the National Airspace System – one of the toughest FAA challenges today,” notes Chris Walach, senior director of NIAS and the FAA-designated UAS test site in Nevada.