On February 15, 2019, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) publicly announced the State of Nevada as an award recipient for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) Technical Capability Level (TCL) 4 operation.
This involves Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) flying in higher-density urban areas for tasks such as newsgathering, package delivery, and large-scale contingency mitigation. For the first time in U.S. Aviation history in a metropolitan area under beyond visual line of sight conditions, Nevada will conduct this NASA demonstration over several months in downtown Reno. The State of Nevada UAS Test Site, under the leadership of the NIAS, was selected to execute the NASA UTM TCL 4 operation through an intensely competitive process with six other states.
This NASA UTM milestone operation promises to develop a safe and reliable airspace platform to integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). The innovative NASA concept under Nevada’s Smart Silver State (S3) theme will lead UTM to an advanced level only imagined a few years ago. Involving 33 partners, this NASA S3 operation is not just the most innovative concept known for urban beyond visual line of sight and urban air mobility, it’s also a vision to lead the global drone industry toward the next major advancement – to accomplish what the industry is ready to do today.
“Nevada has become a nationwide leader in emerging technologies, and this distinction propels our state to new heights,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “This incredible opportunity in an exciting field will allow Nevada to showcase all we have to offer as a hub for pioneering advancements in technology.”
“In January, we were excited to learn that the NASA UTM Project had selected our great State of Nevada, which continues to be a focal point for the UAS industry,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. “Last year the City of Reno was honored to be selected to participate in the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program, this year’s selection for the FAA’s UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP), and now we are getting that much closer to Unmanned Aerial Systems flying in our urban areas.”