Carson City, Nevada - Governor Brian Sandoval today announced he will propose a budget amendment totaling $5 million to support the state’s application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be one of six locations chosen as a center for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle development in the United States.

In February, the FAA issued a UAS Test Site Screening Information Request (SIR), the official mechanism by which the FAA is soliciting information from applicants for being designated one of six FAA UAV test sites in the US.

“Team Nevada is very experienced and Nevada has been home to UAS operations for decades,” Governor Brian Sandoval said.  “With the climate and air space of Southern Nevada, we are uniquely equipped to help expand the development of UAVs. Further, the potential economic benefits from being chosen as a site for UAV development are exponential. I support Nevada’s application and believe that we will see great return on this investment.” 

If Nevada is selected as a UAV development site, the most likely economic forecast shows that there would be thousands of jobs for UAS direct employees with an average wage of approximately $62,000; an estimated $2.5 billion in economic impact in present dollars; and an estimated $125 million in annual state and local tax revenue.

Nevada responded to the request with the State of Nevada as the Applicant, and a 28 member team including the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Nevada National Guard, Bowhead Systems, Navigator Development and Drone America.  Team members, who represent a cross-section of public and private partners, industry and academic leaders, within the northern and southern regions of the state, identified three Test Ranges and four test sites in the State’s Application.