CHULA VISTA, Calif., December 13, 2017 (Newswire.com) - The City of Chula Vista is opening its Unmanned Aerial System (UAV) testing site to qualified FAA-compliant commercial businesses.
The 375-acre site – located in the City of Chula Vista’s University and Innovation District – is the only official, free and public UAV outdoor site in San Diego. It is situated next to an ecological preserve, adjacent to the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center and less than 4 miles from the U.S./Mexico border. The land contains both flat areas and foothills offering a diverse array of terrain.
The UAV test site is just one of the many things we're doing to push the envelope of innovation. The City of Chula Vista is one of the leading smart cities in the nation and was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation as one of 10 proving grounds for autonomous vehicles. By embracing technology, and continuing to invest in our future, we're able to create these opportunities for research and advancement.
Mary Casillas Salas, Chula Vista Mayor
“Prior to the site opening, local companies often traveled out of state to conduct drone testing,” said Sally Preston, SCEDC chair. “Having the site in Chula Vista provides a great resource for aerospace and defense industries within the region and aligns well with our Propel San Diego initiative to develop a resilient defense supply chain in the San Diego region.”
The site was established last year to spur the development of UAV technologies in San Diego County and until recently, only a handful of companies were able to access the space on a regular basis to test, evaluate, and demonstrate their technology to potential customers.
Action Drone, a Chula Vista-based company, was one of the first businesses to use the site.
“The Drone Industry will change the landscape of many industrial operations,” said Darryl Anunciado, founder and CEO of Action Drone. “The fastest way for industries to adopt drone technology is when the communities of drone companies work together to create real solutions for industrial problems. The Drone cluster here in San Diego can achieve faster results because we have a common factor and that is to make San Diego the drone capital for industrial solutions.”
Chula Vista recently submitted a proposal for Amazon’s HQ2, which included an option to locate on the site. There are also additional plans for the City of Chula Vista with the City of San Diego to pursue an FAA partnership to become an official drone testing city, instead of just a site.
“The UAV test site is just one of the many things we’re doing to push the envelope of innovation,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “The City of Chula Vista is one of the leading smart cities in the nation and was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation as one of 10 proving grounds for autonomous vehicles. By embracing technology, and continuing to invest in our future, we’re able to create these opportunities for research and advancement.”
Companies interested in using the test site with appropriate FAA certifications and entering into an agreement with the City can submit a flight plan using AirMap's free iOS and Android apps.
The South County Economic Development Council (South County EDC or SCEDC) is a nonprofit organization formed in 1989 by a group of South San Diego County business and community leaders, to promote education and encourage economic development in the South San Diego County Region. Their member cities include Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, San Diego, San Diego County, and the Port of San Diego. They work with their partners in the northern portion of Baja California in the cities of Mexicali, Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito and Ensenada.
ABOUT PROPEL SAN DIEGO
Propel San Diego is a Department of Defense (DoD) funded grant initiative led by the City of San Diego, South County Economic Development Council, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, East County Economic Development Council and the San Diego Military Advisory Council. The goal of this effort is to better understand the needs and opportunities for regional businesses that conduct defense-related work. Additionally, Propel San Diego aims to develop a resilient defense supply chain in the San Diego region that remains stable, despite changing budget priorities and addresses both regional economic and DoD readiness priorities.
Source: South County EDC