City of Pendleton to Open New, 9,600 Square-Foot Hangar at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport on June 10
Vahana, an A3 by Airbus project, to be the first occupant as hangar and mobile command center are specifically designed and built to support unmanned aircraft systems
June 7, 2017 – BEND Ore. – SOAR Oregon, a statewide nonprofit based in Bend that fosters growth in the state’s rapidly evolving Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry, today opened a new, 9,600 square-foot hangar at Pendleton’s UAS Range (PUR), which will be officially opened at a ribbon-cutting on Saturday, June 10.
In November of 2016, Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI) partnered with SOAR Oregon on the flight test project for Vahana, an electric, self-piloted vehicle being developed by A³, the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus in Silicon Valley. As a result of this partnership, Vahana will be the first occupant of the new hangar located at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport.
“From nearly a dozen sites across the western United States that we evaluated, the Pendleton UAS Test Range quickly stood out as a premier test location for our unique test program,” said Jeff Mabry, MTSI Flight Test Lead, Vahana. “We look forward to continued support from PUR and SOAR Oregon as we move toward a successful demonstration.”
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who is a strong supporter of Oregon’s drone industry, is scheduled to attend the June 10 event. To support Vahana, the Pendleton range will house a Mobile Command Center, which will be on display from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 10.
“As our project matures to the stage of full-scale test flights, it’s essential that we have trusted and committed partners in place to ensure Vahana’s safety and reliability are tested and proven,” said Zach Lovering, Project Executive for Vahana. “Through our work with MTSI, we’ve been fortunate enough to benefit from the commitment of SOAR Oregon, as well as the teams that made this new hangar such an appropriate test range for our work.”
Oregon’s ranges operate under the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC), which is administered by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). UAF, in partnership with Oregon and Hawaii, was awarded one of the original six FAA-approved test sites.
For media credentials to attend the test range ribbon-cutting on June 10, submit an email request to ShanRae Hawkins of Stingray Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Stevens, Deputy Vahana Project Manager, SOAR Oregon, 541-323-4988
Steve Chrisman, Eastern Oregon Regional Airport Manager, City of Pendleton, 541-276-7754