PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Pendleton officials trying to lure manufacturers of drone aircraft to their industrial park say a slowdown in commercial flights and sparse population make their Eastern Oregon site area prime for testing unmanned aircraft.
“There’s not much to hit in the air, there’s not much to hit on the ground,” economic development consultant Steve Chrisman told the East Oregonian.
Chrisman said he and the leader of the local convention center plan a conference in Pendleton in October for drone manufacturers, and they hope to recruit participants at a similar conference in Seattle this week.
Drones have attracted the attention of economic development officials over much of Oregon, and especially in the open areas east of the Cascade Range.
“For dramatic industrial development, it’s probably our best bet at this point,” Chrisman said.