Virginia Tech unveils new drone park on campus

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) - Virginia Tech unveiled their new drone park Thursday morning, but it wasn't your average ribbon cutting.

A drone held up one half of the ribbon and once Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands cut the ribbon, the drone flew the piece of ribbon all over the new drone park.

The park will be used as a space for students and researchers to test out drones for different uses.

"I think the chance of something happening here that is big is higher than anywhere else in the world," said Sands.

The drone park stands 85 feet above the ground and is the size of a football field.

The nets allow for students and researchers to fly without worrying about red tape researchers normally have to deal with when flying drones outside.

"Often our research and our student projects are not visible to the public, here you can come out and watch them doing their thing."

Domonic Bisio is a first-year engineering student.

"It's a nice controlled environment," he said.

He is part of a team that likes using the park to test out their project.

"Drones can get lost, they can get damaged, they can damage other things, this provides a nice safe space for students to test and easily recover their drone," said Bisio.

However, it won't just be the engineering department using the drone park, Sands expects almost every department on campus to find a use for it.

"Almost every field can use unmanned aerial systems in one way or another," said Sands.

The one million dollar project is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.