The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs is looking to open the skies above its reservation to companies that want to test Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones. But those plans have been dealt a set back by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Right now, the FAA has a pretty tight lock on where and when drones can be tested. Warm Springs had applied for special permission for such testing.
Jeff Anspach is the CEO of Warm Springs Ventures. That’s the reservation’s economic development corporation.
He says they were denied that permission because the FAA doesn’t consider the tribe to be a public entity. That label is traditionally reserved for municipalities, federal agencies and universities. He thinks a case could still be made for public entity status.
“But that may — I have no idea how long it’s going to take to get to that point, or even how to get to that point. So more or less what we’re doing now is moving on to plan B,” Anspach said.
Plan B is to find another public entity to sign on with. Anspach says the hope is to one day establish Warm Springs as a hub for UAV development.