The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) has launched the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety (NDCOE) with the aim of saving lives and minimising air hazards caused by drone incursions.

NDCOE is expected to boost the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) vision of safely integrating drones into the commercial air traffic system.

Situated in Las Vegas, Nevada, the centre will provide safety incursion research data, drone technology best practices and educational materials.

Equipped with facilities provided by technology group Switch, NDCOE will also conduct public workshops aimed at protecting the public’s safety and privacy in an open and ethical way.

In addition, the centre aims to educate and protect people from drone users who pose a public safety hazard due to inexperience or malicious drone operations, such as hitting people with drones or trying to cause an airline disaster.

“This dynamic makes such a programme as the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety a natural step as drones increasingly become a bigger part of our daily lives.”

Furthermore, the centre seeks to advance drone surveillance, detect, and avoid activities, wildlife and fire fighting, gas-leak detection, as well as medical delivery technologies for life-saving medical equipment and organs.

Nevada Governor Office of Economic Development executive director Paul Anderson said: “In addition to fostering major advances in UAS technology with testing partners like the FAA, Nasa, and Switch, Nevada is also home to the most registered drone users in the nation in Las Vegas.

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“This dynamic makes such a programme as the Nevada Drone Center of Excellence for Public Safety a natural step as drones increasingly become a bigger part of our daily lives.”

A recent Nevada Drone Industry survey, conducted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and NIAS, has revealed that nearly 80% of the survey respondents were concerned about recreational drones hitting aircraft and causing airline disasters.

As per the survey, around 90% of respondents were worried about unauthorised drones illegally penetrating FAA airspace at various outdoor events, including sports events, concerts, or large public gatherings.