New indoor facility to test drones, other technology for public safety opens at Colorado airport

  • Source: The Aspen Times
  • Published: 10/14/2019 12:00 AM

The sounds of drones on hand weren’t the only buzz filling the new Colorado Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting (CoE) Technodrome last week at Rifle Garfield County Airport. More than 70 people had an up-close look Tuesday at the new 7,000-square-foot indoor facility that allows the center to safely test and evaluate different types of technology for public safety in an enclosed environment. Center of Excellence Director Ben Miller spoke of the bright future of the center as the afternoon sun lent the fabric-covered structure a glowing yellow. “The big advantage of the facility is that we can test new things that aren’t quite allowed or contemplated by the FFA because we are indoors,” Miller said. “We shut the doors and do all the flying we want to in here. We fly big drones that aren’t allowed outside yet, which exceed the current rules, and if we are successful in here, it shows promise and momentum to approach the FAA.”


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