July 21, 2017

Cortez Masto Attends Drone Demonstration at Reno-Stead Airport

Reno, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) attended an unmanned aircraft briefing and demonstration at Reno-Stead Airport. She joined airport administrators and experts to discuss the economic benefits of unmanned aircraft technology.

“The Reno area is becoming an epicenter of technology and innovation, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of our potential,” said Cortez Masto. “The unmanned aircraft systems industry has the potential to generate billions of dollars and support thousands of jobs in Nevada. In order to tap that potential, we need a workforce with the right skills, support for research and development, and a sound policy framework so the industry can operate safely. I will continue advocating and fighting for the resources and regulatory guidelines we need to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into our nation’s airspace.”

“The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority greatly appreciates Sen. Cortez Masto’s steadfast support for the UAS industry and our test site at Reno-Stead Airport,” Marily Mora, President/CEO of the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority, said. “We are on the leading edge of this new aviation industry and having the support of our Congressional  Delegation will be key to growing this new technology in Nevada.”

Last month, Cortez Masto introduced a bipartisan bill, known as the Safe DRONE Act, to advance the development of unmanned aircraft systems. If passed, this bill would create a pipeline between Nevada’s technical schools and the UAS industry so that students can graduate with skills in maintenance, repair, and flight operations. It would also establish a regulatory framework to allow the UAS industry to scale up operations safely.

Cortez Masto also supported the approval of the bipartisan 2017 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill, which would allocate $400 million to expand our national air infrastructure and promote Nevada’s aviation initiatives.  This legislation also contains a number of provisions led by Cortez Masto to advance UAS development in Nevada, as well as nationwide, including extended operating authority of Nevada’s own test site for five years.