Private Drone Test Site Launches In Southern Ariz.

January 20, 2014

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) — Despite Arizona losing out on a federal contract to be a launching pad for drones, a group in the southern part of the state is going ahead with its plans for a private test site.

The Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation is funding a new testing facility in Sierra Vista that it hopes will draw smaller companies in the unmanned-aircraft industry. The Sierra Vista Herald reports the nonprofit foundation on Thursday unveiled the venture, which has been dubbed Four Pillars. The site occupies 160 acres of land in Cochise county and includes a private airport with two runways.

In December, the Federal Aviation Administration selected six states to be nationwide test sites for developing a plan to integrate unmanned aircraft into U.S. airspace. Arizona's bid was rejected.