LONGMONT - The Longmont City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a deal for Iron Ridge UAS to locate its drone manufacturing and testing operations at Vance Brand Municipal Airport.

As part of the deal, the city will seek to attain a Certificate of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration that would allow Iron Ridge to fly its drones, or unmanned aerial systems, more than 400 feet above the ground.

In exchange, Iron Ridge will provide services to the city at no cost that could include anything from monitoring the St. Vrain River during the spring runoff to power line inspection to air-quality monitoring.

While the arrangement doesn't generate revenue for the city, it is anticipated that the services provided by Iron Ridge will result in cost-savings by reducing personnel time needed to travel to remote sites and collect data that can now by offset by the drones.

Neither airport nor Iron Ridge officials could be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.