Cortez Masto Applauds $848,000 Contract for Nevada Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Site (UASTS)

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) applauded the $848,685 in funding awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) toward an overall contract of $1.79 million to demonstrate and validate drone technology in coordination with Nevada’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test site. The contract awarded to Switch (NYSE: SWCH), who contracted with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) will help fund the demonstration and validation of new drone technologies. Switch will leverage hybrid cloud computing mechanisms, data-driven analytics, command centers as well as tens of thousands of simulated drone flights. The funding used for this opportunity was appropriated by Congress through requests by the Senator for funding in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019.

“FAA’s investment in Nevada’s drone test site will help the Silver State remain at the forefront of drone technology and further amplify our position as the Innovation State,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ll continue to work in the Senate to promote Nevada’s innovative tech companies, new job creators and establish the safety and regulatory guardrails that the drone industry needs to unlock all of it’s potential.”

“To be selected as a recipient of a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) contract by the FAA to test the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System (UTM) at a scale never before attempted is a true honor for Switch,” said Switch Founder and CEO Rob Roy. “In partnership with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and ANRA Technologies, we will leverage our far-reaching Switch AMERICA independent exascale infrastructure platform, including the Switch EDGE data centers, to power the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS).”


Switch was awarded a contract to conduct demonstrations and validation of new drone systems, in association with NIAS, and help establish the guardrails needed to safely intergrate drones into U.S. National Air Space (NAS).

In 2018, Senator Cortez Masto secured a five-year extension in the authorization of the State of Nevada’s FAA-designated UAS Test Site. Language from the Senator’s Drone Safety Enhancement Act, which requires measures to improve drone safety and help fund a public awareness campaign, was also included in the 2018 FAA reauthorization bill. The Senator previously introduced the bipartisan Safe DRONE Act, which advances the development and safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems and supports workforce training programs, in addition to the test site extension and funding request, provisions of which were also signed into law.

The appropriation for the BAA was successfully requested in the Senate, by the Senator, for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

Earlier this month, the FAA also announced the opening of the drone workforce training opportunities that the Senator got included in the 2018 FAA reauthorization law.

About Switch

Switch (NYSE: SWCH), the technology infrastructure company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada is built on the intelligent and sustainable growth of the Internet. Switch Founder and CEO Rob Roy has developed more than 500 issued and pending patent claims covering data center designs that have manifested into the company’s world-renowned data centers and technology solutions.

The Switch PRIMES, located in Las Vegas and Tahoe Reno, Nevada; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Atlanta, Georgia are the world’s most powerful exascale data center campus ecosystems with low latency to major U.S. markets. Visit for more information.