The eastern Oregon city of Pendleton is known as the home of Pendleton Woolen Mills and the Pendleton Roundup, but some are hoping it will soon become known as a hub of activity for the drone industry.
Last week, Pendleton hosted the Robotics Rodeo, a conference for companies making drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles. Earlier this year, the Army National Guard got FAA approval to fly drones out of the East Oregon Regional Airport, based in Pendleton. The city’s economic development coordinator is hoping the FAA chooses Pendleton as one of six drone test sites in the country. This would open the door to drone manufacturers who are seeking air space to test unmanned aircraft developed for the agricultural industry and other commercial uses. The FAA decision is expected later this year.