April 19, 2016

Wyden Legislation to Help Oregon UAS Sites in Pendleton, Tillamook and Warm Springs Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A provision cosponsored by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden to extend the life of the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site program through 2022 was approved today by the Senate.

The inclusion in a larger FAA bill of Wyden’s legislation extending congressional authorization for the test sites from 2017 until 2022 will provide much-needed certainty to Oregon’s test sites in Pendleton, Tillamook and Warm Springs as well as three test sites outside Oregon. 

“This Oregon industry stands ready to soar even higher, creating jobs and boosting the economy statewide with commercial uses that include mountaintop rescue and agricultural applications,” Wyden said. “This legislation ensures a solid flight path for that growth over the next several years.”

“We are so pleased with the strong support that the Oregon test ranges have received from Senator Wyden,’’ said Chuck Allen, Executive Director of SOAR Oregon, the statewide group focused on developing the UAS industry in Oregon. “His efforts, and those of his colleagues, have gone a long way to significantly improve those aspects of the reauthorization bill that will affect the ranges. These improvements will allow the Oregon ranges to continue to develop business, grow jobs and attract customers from outside the state.”

In addition to Oregon’s three FAA-approved test ranges in Pendleton, Tillamook and Warm Springs, the state has numerous innovative UAS companies in operation statewide, and the FAA has chosen Oregon State University as a Center of Excellence for UAS.