When the new airport in Boulder City, Nevada opens, it will be missing a key component: passengers. Construction just started on the facility, which hopes to attract hobbyists, government officials, rescue workers, and private businesses, who are all eager to find a spot where they can fly and test their unmanned aerial vehicles. The site, which drone industry enabler Aerodrome is developing, bills itself as the world’s first drone airport.
The company has teaching facilities in Detroit, Michigan and Henderson, Nevada. Its stated mission is to “provide education and FAA certification for flying and maintenance, job/career placement, advisory services, outsourced aviation services and repair services.” If the drone industry is to take off, it will need pilots with more training than that gained by just flying a quadcopter into a tree after Christmas. Fast Company reports:
”The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry envisions an unprecedented $82.1 billion growth between 2015 and 2025," an Aerodrome document claims, "generating at least 103,000 new, high-paying jobs. But the industry faces a crippling talent gap between the number of new jobs that will need to be filled and an undeveloped pool of trained individuals and groups needed to command this bold new skyscape...Aerodrome exists to fill the gap between need and opportunity. We are uniquely prepared to help meet the increasing demand for an unmanned systems workforce.
There are already military drone airports, which are great for military pilots and understandbly off-limits for anyone else. A facility like this could help the commercial drone sector out a lot, and will further cement Nevada’s position as a modern transportation research hub.