174th Attack Wing receives additional air space to fly drones from Fort Drum

Unmanned aircrafts taking off from the post’s Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield will have additional airspace south of its current airspace after receiving approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The new space gives the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing, Syracuse, which flies MQ-9 Reapers, an additional area of about 20 miles by 20 miles, which covers portions of Onondaga, Madison and Oswego counties, with boundaries generally listed as the southern end of Syracuse, out west to Camillus and east to Fayetteville.

Col. Greg A. Semmel,the air wing’s commander, said his unit will begin using the new space within the next week.

The commander said in a phone call to the Times that the space gives the unit more flexibility to train during harsh weather conditions around the post, avoiding costly training delays and cancellations.

“What happens very often is when that lake effect sets in, it takes out the majority of legacy airspace we’ve had for years,” he said. “What this extension on the south allows is to have more flexibility to get out of those clouds that set up in the Tug Hill area.”

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