A new facility for drone testing and training held its grand opening Tuesday October 8th at the Rifle Garfield County Airport. KDNK's Lucas Turner was there and has the details.
A small drone in flight suspends one end of the ceremonial ribbons as County Comissioner Mike Samson wields of a pair of oversized scissors. The ribbon cutting dedicates the Center of Excellence Technodrome, a 7000 square foot fabric building located at the Rifle Garfield County Airport.
The facility is part of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting. It will be used primarily as a training ground for public safety officials to become certified drone pilots. It will also provide a safe and legal testing space for new types of drones that otherwise would not be allowed to fly in open airspace.
The Colorado Center of Excellence, also located at the Garfield County Airport was established in Garfield County in 2015 as part of Senate Bill 164, and acts as the research and development arm of Colorado’s aerial firefighting program.
The Technodrome will also act as a testing ground for various kinds of software for things like drone detection, geospatial mapping, and even technologies not related to drones, such as a large dish used to transmit high-speed internet connections into remote locations.