National Championship Air Races Expands UNR, NASA Sponsored Drone Zone


Reno, Nev. – NASA is set to expand on information related to its Unmanned Traffic Management research agenda at this year’s National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev. Sept. 16-20. This year’s event will feature an expanded Drone Zone sponsored by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center in partnership with NASA.


“It is such an honor that NASA will be returning to the STIHL National Championship Air Races this year, let alone its plans to update the public on the latest developments on Unmanned Traffic Management research challenges ” said Mary Beth Sewald, vice chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association board of directors. “The UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) industry is rapidly growing and I’m excited to see Reno and UNR at the forefront of this technology.”


The Drone Zone will have a larger footprint this year located just inside the main entrance. The enclosed Drone Zone tent mall will include NASA and the University of Nevada, as well as host numerous professional UAV and robotic vendors from all over the country, provide advanced UAV demonstrations and several vendors will sell small, unmanned aerial vehicles.


In addition, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will be sponsoring the second annual small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Challenge. The competition will include an obstacle course, speed course and potential one-on-one “combat.”


“The intent of the expanded Drone Zone is to expose and educate the public about UAV’s, what they are and aren’t and give the public the opportunity to see the static displays and ask questions, “ said Warren “Bum” Rapp, director of Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center (NAASIC). “There is a great deal of interest in UAV’s with a new generation, so this is a wonderful opportunity to get young people out to the STIHL National Championship Air Races and the Drone Zone.”


The STIHL National Championship Air Races expects approximately 3,500 children from the Washoe County School District to visit the Drone Zone during race week where there will be classes on aviation.

“This is an opportunity to get kids excited about these technologies and think about applying what they’re learning in their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes as a path to college,” said Rapp.


Tickets are now on sale for the 52nd Annual National Championship Air Races held Sept. 16-20, 2015 at Reno-Stead Airport. For more information, to volunteer or become a vendor visit



About the Reno Air Racing Association:

The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), a 501(c)(3), holds the STIHL National Championship Air Races every September just north of Reno. The Reno Air Races have become an institution for northern Nevada and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. Last year’s event generated more than $66 million for the region’s economy. The event features six racing classes, a large display of static aircraft and several military and civil flight demonstrations. For more information on the STIHL National Championship Air Races, to obtain media credentials, volunteer or purchase tickets for this year’s event, visit


About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 75 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at



Media Contact:

Kena Cataneso

The Glenn Group


[email protected]