The regulation and operation of UAS, also known as drones, is exclusively under the authority of the FAA, and there is limited infrastructure available to manage the widespread expansion of drone operations.
As such, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); local, state, and tribal governments; and private sector entities on a variety of testing programs to develop policies and programs to facilitate the safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System (NAS).
The programs are focused on:
- Identifying ways to balance local and national interests related to drone integration
- Establishing infrastructure to enable and safely manage the widespread use of low-altitude airspace and drone operations
- Addressing safety, security and privacy risks related to drone operations
- Providing a systematic approach for collecting and reporting community input and concerns back to the FAA
The City of Reno is currently participating in three drone testing programs. Participation allows residents to provide input that will be utilized to determine policy and regulations related to the safe integration of drones. The City of Reno is the only city in the country involved in all three of these testing programs.
Learn more about each of these programs
- FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP)
- In May of 2018, the City of Reno was selected to participate in the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) which partners the FAA with local government entities and private operators to look at processes to accelerate the safe integration of drones into NAS. Unless extended, this program will continue until October of 2020.
- FAA - UAS Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program (UPP)
- In January of 2019, the FAA selected the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) to participate in their UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program (UPP) which is working to develop a safe and efficient UTM to ensure that the UAS industry is able to integrate into the NAS safely and efficiently. The City of Reno is a partner in this program and helped facilitate testing in the downtown Reno area.
- NASA - UAS Technical Capability Level (TCL) 4
- On February of 2019, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected NIAS to participate in the UTM Technical Capability Level (TCL) 4 operation that will test flying in higher-density urban areas. The City of Reno is a partner in this program and helped facilitate testing in the downtown Reno area.
- FAA UAS Website
- FAA UAS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- FAA Airspace Restrictions
- State of Nevada FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site
- Acronyms and Abbreviations
Looking to keep up with news and information about the City of Reno’s involvement in UAS testing programs?
- The State of Nevada, City of Reno, Las Vegas, Henderson, Searchlight, NIAS and Nevada partners complete historic FAA Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Pilot Program
- NIAS and NASA to resume drone testing in downtown Reno
- NIAS and NASA to conduct drone testing in downtown Reno
- Flirtey and City of Reno receive FAA approval for drone delivery beyond visual line of sight
- FAA-Designated Nevada UAS Test Site Selected For 2019 NASA Unmanned Traffic Management Capstone Operation
- City of Reno and Flirtey complete first flights under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Drone Integration Pilot Program
- Reno selected to participate in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program
- FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program Announcement
- Flirtey Launches First Emergency Drone Delivery Program in U.S.
- Drones will deliver defibrillators to 911 callers to help treat cardiac arrest
Tells us what you think
We welcome input and participation from Washoe County residents. Please visit the links below:
- Provide general feedback or comments regarding the City of Reno UAS testing involvement
- Sign up to receive regular updates via email
Members of the news media can use our media request form to submit an inquiry regarding the UAS testing programs that are occurring with the City of Reno.