By Jason Hidalgo, firstname.lastname@example.org
The city of Reno and Flirtey are on the fast track for drone testing after being picked for a federal pilot program.
The city and the Reno-based drone company were selected as one of 10 applicants out of more than 150 nationwide by the Department of Transportation to take part in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, according to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. Heller made the announcement on May 8 prior to the official announcement on Wednesday.
“I thank Secretary Chao for recognizing the critical opportunity that the Reno-Flirtey partnership presents not only to advance drone technology, but to save lives,” Heller said in a statement. “I’m proud that the DOT also recognized the promise of this partnership by selecting it as just one of 10 applications approved for this highly competitive program.”
Reno’s selection also was welcomed by Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev. Cortez-Masto sent a joint letter to the transportation department with Heller on April 30 that lobbied for the Reno program.
“Companies like Flirtey are pioneering new ways to save lives and change lifestyles,” Cortez-Masto said in a statement sent on Wednesday. “By introducing high tech ways to grow and diversify our local economy and develop industry-leading innovations, Flirtey, the City of Reno, and the other stakeholders involved in this application are leading the way in revolutionary drone delivery technology.
Flirtey and the city of Reno submitted a joint application earlier this year for the federal program alongside several partners. The partners are Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority, AirMap, the city of Sparks, Washoe County, the Reno police and fire departments, and a tribal partner. The program will test the delivery of medical equipment using drones.
“There was very little time to put it together, and that’s the thing about the city of Reno, we hustle,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. “We really hustled on this one.”
Read the rest of the story at rgj.com.