The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems announced Tuesday the launch of a new facility designed to promote safer use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety will be housed on a Las Vegas site donated by Switch, a company that specializes in data-center construction.
“NDCOE’s mission is to save lives and reduce air hazards from drone incursions by empowering a shared safety vision with the the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s integration of drones into the commercial air traffic system,” a press release read.
The center will collect and distribute drone-related research data, educational materials about drone safety and advice on drone technology best practices, including training and registration. It will also offer public workshops to “promote and protect the public’s safety and privacy in an open and ethical manner.”
According to the release, the launch of the center is a response to growing safety concerns regarding the growing use of drones by the public, including inexperienced pilots and people who may have malicious intentions.
A recent survey by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and NIAS found that about 90 percent of respondents were concerned about the possibility of drones entering restricted airspace or flying above large public gatherings.
“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,” NIAS senior director Chris Wallach said in the press release.
Wallach said the new center’s research “will be of immense value” to the FAA and the U.S. departments of Transportation, Homeland Security and Justice, as well as commercial airlines, public venues and the drone industry.