The Real Deal Miami

Palm Bay may designate a 30-acre drone park

A beneficiary would be the Florida Institute of Technology's unmanned aerial vehicles program

March 13, 2016 12:30PM

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Palm Bay's drone park would cover 30 uninhabited acres.

Palm Bay’s drone park would cover 30 uninhabited acres owned by the city.

Palm Bay may designate a southwest section of the city as a drone park.

James Marshal, administrator of the city’s Bayfront Community Redevelopment Agency, told Florida Today that the drone park would be designated for hobbyists and for participants in the unmanned aerial vehicles program at the Florida Institute of Technology.

“Economically, it makes sense. Academically, it makes sense. From a high-tech economic
development standpoint, workforce attraction, it makes sense,” Marshal told Florida Today.

He said designation of a drone park was pending further discussions between city officials and representatives of the Florida Institute of Technology and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The site of the Palm Bay drone park would be 30 uninhabited acres of city-owned land known as The Compound.

“That would be an excellent location to have some sort of regional drone racing tournament, or even perhaps an East Coast drone racing opportunity,” Marshal told Florida Today.

Hobbyists already fly drones at The Compound, and the Spaceport Rocketry Association launches model rockets there. [Florida Today] — Mike Seemuth