Reno Partnership Goals to Equip Fireplace Division with Drones to Conduct Life-Saving River Search and Rescue Operations – Drones Information


Iris Automation conducts live demonstration flights of the flight safety solution for the Reno fire department as part of the FAA’s pilot program for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems

Earlier this week, Iris Automation conducted a live demonstration of the drone flight for the fire department of the city of Reno from their Casia on board Detect-and-Avoid as part of the Integration Pilot Program (IPP) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (DAA) through) collision avoidance system that enables safe operation of drones out of line of sight (BVLOS).

The demonstration took place in Nevada across the Carson River in Fort Churchill State Historic Park. A drone built into Casia was used to demonstrate how this cutting edge technology is used to provide automated situational awareness to drones and their pilots. On-board technologies such as the DAA are crucial to ensure that drones are safely integrated into national airspace and can avoid collisions with other manned aircraft.

The river search and rescue program will test the safety and ability of drones to use drones during river rescue missions to improve response times and reduce exposure of first responders and victims to dangerous conditions during river rescue missions.

“With this CONOP, we want to carry out rescue operations in the Truckee River region in the near future that are supported by drone technology,” said Dave Cochran, chief fire officer at Reno. “The water pollution, especially in incidents involving running water, is extremely dynamic and dangerous for victims and first responders. The use of drones increases our safety and efficiency. I am thrilled that we are looking for an innovative approach to improve our flow response. “

Ensuring a safe community and well-maintained public infrastructure is a strategic priority for the city of Reno. This program has the potential to increase the survival rate of victims during river rescue operations while helping to develop safe practices for the use of drones in the United States.

In May 2018, the city of Reno was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as one of nine state, local, and tribal governments to participate in the FAA UAS IPP. The UAS IPP is working with the nine public-private partnerships to implement and study specific drone applications in the United States to advance the safe integration of drones into the country’s airspace.

“The city of Reno has been a leader in the UAS community, and this demonstration is another example of these technologies being used for the public benefit,” said Jon Damush, CEO of Iris Automation. “Our priority at Iris is to safely integrate UAS into the airspace. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the City of Reno and the FAA to expand these capabilities to fire and first responders.”

While the FAA’s UAS IPP is expected to close on October 24th, the partnership will continue to advance to advance the river search and rescue program. The first BVLOS flight operation will take place at the Carson River site. Future tests will be carried out over the Truckee River as early as next year.

About the city of Reno, Nevada:

The mission of the Reno City Government is to create a community that people are proud to call home about. To achieve this end, Reno City Council has set six Tier 1 priorities and seven Tier 2 priorities. To learn more about the city of Reno, visit or call 775-334-INFO (4636).

About Iris Automation:

Iris Automation is a safety avionics technology company pioneering detect-and-avoid (DAA) systems and aviation policy services that enable customers to create scalable Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations for commercial drones. Operations that unlock the potential of a myriad of industries. Iris’ DAA system runs entirely on board Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), allowing them to fly safely over long distances without human intervention. We work closely with civil aviation authorities around the world to create the legal framework for the safe implementation of BVLOS. We are working on several pilot programs to integrate the FAA UAS, NASA’s unmanned traffic management program, and Transport Canada’s BVLOS technology demonstration program. To learn more, visit

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