Google to develop drones in New Mexico
By: Matt Howerton
Sep 23, 2014
MORIARTY, N.M. —State officials, including Gov. Susana Martinez, are expected at Moriarty Airport Tuesday morning to announce that the State Economic Development Department will be footing an estimated $1 million to help build sewer and water lines at the Moriarty Airport where Google is constructing a nearly 60,000-square-foot building.
Google is looking to use the airport to develop solar-powered drones.
The Moriarty Airport used to solely be home to Titan Aerospace, but has since been bought by the multibillion-dollar internet company.
The drones would fly at nearly 65,000 feet, providing communication services for rural areas. Before the Internet giant came to town, Titan Aerospace only had a few hangars and temporary offices.
The 60,000-square-foot building will be used for research and development, as well as office space.
But the airport has one big problem; it has no water or sewer lines.
The City of Moriarty tabulated it would need an estimated $1 million to upgrade the airport for Google.
Through the Local Economic Development Act, the state will help foot the bill.
With the state stepping in, some of the financial burden is taken off of Moriarty’s hands.
“We worked really hard with the state to get this going and we’re excited,” Mayor Ted Hart said.
The Governor’s Office said Monday that Google would bring more than 200 aviation-related jobs to the town.
The infrastructure improvements will not only benefit future business, but more than 50 residents who live near the airport as well.
Officials from Google will be in meeting with Mayor Hart soon to discuss upcoming plans, etc. Hart also said Superintendent Tom Sullivan of Moriarty-Edgewood ISD would tag along for that meeting.
Google has an excellent track record of investing in education. Sullivan and Hart expect to discuss the possibility of the internet giant investing in Moriarty-Edgewood ISD, which would be huge for its students.
“We have a wonderful computer science program, and many of our students are interested in making that a career path,” Sullivan said.
The announcement will be at 10:30 a.m. at the airport.