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