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The Central Colorado UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Club has achieved a major milestone with the Town of Buena Vista, which last week unanimously approved the group’s concept of a drone flying park to be located on town property.

The flying park will be located in the southeast quadrant of town property near the intersection of Gregg Drive and Rodeo Drive. Residents and visitors know that area as adjacent to the Collegiate Peaks Stampede Rodeo grounds.

The Buena Vista Drone Park for the operation of unmanned aerial systems (drones) will be on the edge of town near the Rodeo grounds. Courtesy image.

“We are delighted that the Town approved our concept to create this park which is unique in the industry,” said Club President Taylor Albrecht. “Both Chaffee County and the Town have been very supportive of our efforts to highlight the positive benefits of unmanned aerial systems technology to the community.  This is another step in the development of an environment where drone companies and pilots are welcome and have the resources to learn how to fly safely and legally.”

The flying park will consist of four “zones” where pilots can learn to fly or hone their flying skills and will include a qualification zone, an obstacle zone and a racing zone. Park development is expected to begin immediately, with the basic flying and qualification courses on schedule to be completed this fall.  The remaining zones should be ready for use in the summer of 2021.

“We wanted to create a place [that would be] valuable to pilots of all skills and ability.  The basic training zone has been designed after one used by an area university GIS program to teach their students the basics of flight,” said Albrecht.

“Inspiration for the qualification zone was from a public safety organization that uses a similar configuration to qualify first-responders and other public safety pilots.  The obstacle zone is intended to help all pilots navigate through different places, which will help fire and police organization pilots enhance skills.  We also hope to have sanctioned racing events in the racing zone,” said Albrecht.

One example of an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, in flight.

For its part, the town said it was impressed by the quality of the application.

“We are impressed with the work and research done over the last year by the Central Colorado UAS to create this new and unique park,” commented Recreation Director Earl Richmond.  “They have worked well with our team and the Public Works Department to address the public’s concerns and to find the best location for this public facility.  The end result will be a new park where drone pilots can have fun and learn to fly safely.”

“The Club’s efforts with the drone flying park, educational initiatives with area schools and other projects will create an attractive ecosystem for companies that need a place to conduct research and development and a workforce well trained in the technology,” said Wendell Pryor, Director of Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation Wendell Pryor.  “We are excited about their efforts.”

 

The Central Colorado UAS Club was created four years ago, with the mission is to promote safety through education and a positive atmosphere for pilots of all ages to exchange information and ideas thus improving UAS proficiency. For more information, contact the Club at ccuasclub@gmail.com, or visit its web site, currently hosted by TNL Aviation at http://tnlaviation.com/central-colorado-uas-club/.

 

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