Oregon | Economy

Economic Group, University, Team To Test Drones

OPB | Aug. 3, 2011 9:09 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:04 a.m.

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A Central Oregon economic development group and Oregon State University are joining forces to test Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

If you’re a manufacturer of technology for unmanned drones, and you want to test your gear up in the wild blue yonder, you’ve got two options.

You can apply for time to fly in a specially restricted airspace.

But that’s extremely limited. Or you can hold out for special permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.

But to do that, you need to sign on with a public entity. Roger Lee says the partnership with OSU accomplishes that and more. He’s the president of the non-profit Economic Development for Central Oregon.

“There seems to be a very logical and we thing going forward meaningful partnership there, not just to meet a requirement, but actually to help work with each other to get things done,” Lee said.

Lee says he hopes getting test flights in the air will improve Central Oregon’s chances to secure a full-time test facility, should Congress and the FAA sign off on the plan.

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