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Sun, Aug 14, 2022

Central Colorado UAS Begins Fundraising for Drone Park Improvements

Matched Grant of $25,000 Becomes Goal for Drone Education Facilities

The Central Colorado UAS Organization continues its work in forging model infrastructure for uncrewed aircraft support, announcing the receipt of grant payments for enhancements to the Buena Vista Drone Training Park. 

The announcement outlines the first half of $50,000 in funding that will be used to establish a "smart portable classroom and other education initiatives', allowing the CCUAS to build on its drone flight facilities with some educational infrastructure. Additional, specially-designed flight proficiency areas are on the docket too, said group president Taylor Albrecht. A new obstacle zone and racing course, shelter for operators, and small educational improvements are on tap as well. 

The funding comes in portions from a few distinct sources, first from the Ray Foundation's $50,000 matching grant as agreed upon last year. Those funds would be paid out in 2 increments provided the CCUAs could fund raise the same amount on their own. Ultimately, Albrecht said the process went great. The group was able to secure the first chunk of funding for its initiatives and really make headway on fulfilling its educational purpose. The match is a good one for both groups, as the CCUAS mission dovetails quite nicely into the Ray Foundation's aim to develop youth interest in STEM and aviation. While the first block of the money is in the bag, the CCUAS still has more fundraising left to do in order to obtain the second half of the grant's matched funds. The Ray Foundation is just one of a fine list of sponsors, both from the industry and local stakeholders as they prepare for the future economy of uncrewed aviation.

“We are now in the process of raising another $25,000 locally to secure the second, matching grant from Ray Foundation,” said Albrecht in an update. In order to do so, the group will make an appearance at festivals, outings, and expos in the region. The CCUAS membership, still quite modest in size, has been punching above its weight in terms of fundraising to size. Currently, the CCUAS has 60+ members from Buena Vista, Colorado and beyond, developing themselves as an up and comer in the uncrewed aviation industry. The CCUAS provides drone education for professional and recreational pilots of all ages, offering one of the few Colorado locales so dedicated to UAV operations. From their UAS flying park, the group is able to offer pilots of all skill levels a safe and productive environment to hone their skills, whether alone or as a part of CCUAS educational offerings. Their work has yielded a 2-year capstone program for high schoolers that can provide college credit in uncrewed aviation, or a series of monthly speakers from all facets of commercial, government, and hobby UAS flight. 

First up in the works as they tackle the next goal? The group will make an appearance at the upcoming Gold Rush Days in Buena Vista, Colorado, before the organization's 10th UAS Roundup at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop, Colorado.


FMI: www.centralcoloradouas.org

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