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Henderson breaks ground on drone testing site

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 23:07:09-05

If you drive through Henderson, you may start to see a lot more drones in the air. The city broke ground on a new drone test range Wednesday. 

It's the state's first urban drone testing site, located in the hills behind Nevada State College.

Gone are the days of driving hours into the middle of the desert to test out some equipment or conduct research. Now, companies will be able to go straight to Henderson. 

"We're able to provide a location for companies as they're coming to the region to do testing with the Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems," says Barbra Coffee, the director of economic development with the city of Henderson. 

However, if you got a drone for Christmas, you won't be able to fly it at the new site. The site is for commercial drones.  

Companies like Amazon could test out new delivery services, or organizations like Nevada Highway Patrol could conduct research for public safety.  The site could even be used for testing and research on power line inspections or aerial photography.  

Officials with Henderson hope this will encourage even more businesses to set up shop in the city. 

"The exposure with companies coming in and testing out applications could eventually mean they set up business operations in our city someday," Coffee says.