Finding a place for drones in central New York skies

Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drones are coming to our domestic airways by the end of 2015. Formerly better known for their role in warfare, drones are on their way to becoming as ubiquitous in our skies in commercial guise.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working to come up with the necessary anti-collision technology, called ‘Sense and Avoid’ to make flying these aerial systems safe. The FAA chose six testing sites across the country to roll the unmanned vehicles out; Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, New Jersey and upstate New York.

Syracuse is the home base for NUAIR, the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research and Alliance. The group is a consortium of over 40 different academic and business institutions charged with safely testing drones in the skies from central New York all the way east into Massachusetts.

NUAIR Executive Director and General Council, Larry Brinker says their testing program will provide data to the FAA to help them develop rules and regulations for domestic drone use.

“The ultimate goal is for a UAS [Unmanned Aircraft System] to fly side by side with a manned aircraft.”

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