July 31, 2018

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Bipartisan Amendment to Increase Drone Integration Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) to the FY19 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) portion of the ‘minibus II’ package that provides $6 million towards unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research to safely integrate this technology into the national airspace. The bill was also cosponsored by Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.).

“Increased funding for unmanned aircraft systems research will create new opportunities for Nevada to tap our state’s potential for creating innovative new technology,” said Cortez Masto. “Nevada is the Innovation State, and a leader in this space as one of seven FAA-designated national test sites across the country. This amendment will help sustain and grow Nevada’s drone industry by helping train a workforce with the necessary skills, and by supporting new investments in research and development for the drone industry to operate in the skies safely.”


Currently, the FY19 T-HUD base bill makes $3 million available in matching funds for companies that partner with the UAS test sites that are working towards integrating UAS into the national airspace. This amendment would boost UAS research funding levels to $6 million. 

Sen. Cortez Masto advocated for the inclusion of this funding in the original T-HUD bill.  This concept was previewed in June 2017, when Cortez Masto introduced the Safe DRONE Act, bipartisan legislation to advance the development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and build on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) efforts to safely integrate them into the National Airspace System. 

The text of the amendment can be found here.