FAA Grants Drone Operation Waiver to Nevada UAS Check Website

New Waiver Allows Extended Drone Operations at University-Managed Facility

According to an article in Nevada Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently granted a crucial waiver under Title 49 of the United States Code for the operation of civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at the Nevada Autonomous Test Site. Managed by Nevada Autonomous in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Center for Applied Research (NCAR), this 1,000 square-mile facility north of Reno represents the first in a planned series of sites dedicated to drone research and testing.

The Nevada UAS Test Site (UASTS) is operated under contract with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and benefits from the state-administered Knowledge Fund, enhancing Nevada’s commitment to innovation and economic impact in the drone industry. The site, operational since its FAA designation in 2013, serves as a significant resource for addressing key research questions essential for the development of future commercial and civil drone usage regulations and procedures.

The recent waiver allows for the operation of drones up to 300 pounds and altitudes up to, but not including, 18,000 feet above sea level, within four specific operating areas. This development is expected to facilitate more extensive research activities including operations beyond the visual line of sight of the remote pilot, a critical step for advancing UAS capabilities.

This expansion is indicative of Nevada’s ongoing efforts to position itself as a leading hub for UAS development, leveraging the state’s vast uncontrolled airspace and favorable flying conditions. The University of Nevada plays a pivotal role in these initiatives, fostering collaboration between academia, industry, and government agencies.

“This means Nevada Autonomous and the Nevada UASTS are open for business for the UAS Industry to efficiently and safely test their new technologies,” Carlos Cardillo, executive director of corporate partnerships at the University and director of the Nevada Center for Applied Research (NCAR), said.

Industry partners and stakeholders interested in drone research, development, and testing are encouraged to engage with the Nevada Center for Applied Research to explore the opportunities available at this expansive test site.

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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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