Tallest drone park in the U.S. opens at Virginia Tech

Drone Park 3The tallest drone park in the United States officially opened Thursday on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus.

In an event featuring remarks from Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, student drone demos, and a ribbon-cutting that included a drone flying away with part of the clipped ribbon, the university celebrated a facility that creates research and recreation opportunities for students and faculty and reflects Virginia Tech’s status as a leader for unmanned-aircraft research.

Standing 85 feet above ground, the football-field-sized park is the tallest netted flight facility in the country, and offers almost 3 million cubic feet of unobstructed flight space for student research, education, and recreation. Because it’s outdoors, it provides a research environment with real-world wind and weather conditions; because it’s enclosed by a net, it isn’t subject to the FAA regulations that govern public airspace, giving students and faculty the freedom to pursue more innovative, ambitious projects.

The facility is managed by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, which runs one of seven Federal Aviation Administration-Designated test sites for unmanned aircraft systems.


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