The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) has opened a new center in Las Vegas, Nevada, focused on saving lives and minimizing air hazards posed by drones. Named as Nevada Drone Center of Excellence (NDCOE) for Public Safety, the center will help meet the U.S. FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) vision of safely incorporating drones into the commercial air traffic environment.
Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the NDCOE will be providing safety incursion research data, drone-technology best practices and educational materials. Additionally, it will conduct public workshops aimed at protecting safety and privacy of public in an ethical & transparent way. Equipment for the NDCOE will be provided by the technology group Switch, sources confirmed.
Educating people and protecting them from drone users who pose a public safety hazard due to their inexperience or malignant drone operations, is said to be another key responsibility of the center. Going ahead, the NDCOE also aims to advance in various areas such as drone surveillance, fire and wildlife fighting, detection of gas-leaks, along with medical delivery technologies for life saving equipment.
Paul Anderson, Executive Director at Nevada Governor Office of Economic Development, stated that in addition to cultivating vital advancement in UAS technology with testing partners like the NASA, FAA & Switch, Nevada is also home to the most number of registered drone users in the country. Consequently, a program like Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety is a natural course of action, with drones becoming a bigger part of the daily life of U.S. citizens, he further mentioned.
According to a recent Nevada Drone Industry survey conducted by UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) and NIAS, about 80% of the respondents were worried about recreational drones hitting aircraft and causing disasters. Nearly 90% respondents were concerned about unauthorized drones illegally coming into FAA airspace at outdoor programs such as music concerts, sports events or large public gatherings.