The Pendleton UAS Range (PUR) is a leading partner within the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC) under the University of Alaska Fairbanks leadership that was designated by the FAA on Dec 30, 2013. Located in beautiful eastern Oregon, the PUR offers both conventional and unconventional takeoff and landing capability from Eastern Oregon Regional Airport (KPDT). The airport enjoys over 300+ VFR days per year and can accommodate up to a Boeing 757. In addition to two conventional runways (6,300 ft.; 5,581 ft.), the airport provides a 2,800 foot UAS dedicated runway and a full-service UAS operating area with available dark fiber connections. KPDT offers a broad blend of dissimilar aircraft, including squadrons of Chinook helicopters and Shadow UAS. Beyond the airport the range extends over 14,000 square miles: North to the Columbia River; east over the Blue Mountains and Umatilla National Forest; south into the Elkhorn Mountains; and west outlining the borders of Restricted Area 5701 to allow easy access for specialty testing (Oregon's only restricted airspace). (Source: pendletonuas.com)
On March 20, 2015 Gov. Kate Brown, Business Oregon and the City of Pendleton announced a key investment in the future of Oregon's unmanned aerial systems industry. The collaborative goal is to help the city and Eastern Oregon become a hub of research and development for the commercial use of UAS. Oregon is one of just 13 states with FAA approval to operate test sites for commercial use UAVs. Oregon has the only test ranges on the West Coast, and Pendleton is one of three sites in Oregon. The industry is poised to grow rapidly over the next decade and the UAS test range will attract research and development work from UAS companies to rural Oregon.
Brown announced a $545,000 state grant to fund hangars and storage facilities at the Pendleton unmanned Aerial Systems Range. Business Oregon Director Sean Robbins followed by announcing that through the infrastructure finance authority, Business Oregon would add another $1,115,000 million to the pot, bringing the total value of the financial package to nearly $1.7 million