2020 Award for Excellence Nominee

Pendleton - UAS (Drone) Range

Arctic Shark.jpgThe Pendleton UAS (Drone) Range is an extremely innovative approach to rural economic development. With an investment of less than $500k, the City of Pendleton stood up what is now, arguably, the premier unmanned vehicle test range in the Western United States. The test range has revitalized Pendleton's WWII-era airport, more than doubled the airport's average annual revenue, created over 60 high-paying aerospace jobs (and counting), attracted over $5.5 million in grants, and has become a major economic driver in the community. Between FTE's and transient workers, the range has produced over 225,000-man hours in the last 3.5 years, which translates to millions of year-round dollars infused into hospitality, housing, construction, catering, rentals, etc. For the first time in decades, the Airport now truly operates in the black, and UAS range revenue will likely exceed $1 million this fiscal year, an absolutely unfathomable figure just a couple years ago. The project was unorthodox and brought considerable public scrutiny, but the City Council stayed the course and the City was rewarded manifold for their efforts.

Learn more about the Pendleton UAS (Drone) Range