A step forward for drones upstate

Drone.
Drone.
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A step forward for drones upstate

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration approved part of a 50-mile drone corridor between Syracuse and Rome.
November 11, 2019

Central New York, which is quickly becoming one of the United States’ drone hubs, just got a boost from the Federal Aviation Administration. The region is home to the Northeast UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Airspace Integration Research Alliance, and Griffiss International Airport in Rome, which serves as one of seven test sites in the United States for developing and piloting unmanned drones. And last week, the FAA approved part of a 50-mile drone corridor between Syracuse and Rome to fly drones beyond visual line of sight – meaning that tests in that region will no longer require multiple people to be monitoring from the field. 

The approval marks the first of its kind by the FAA, signaling New York’s prominence in the industry. “This federal designation is an incredible milestone for New York State and will ensure that Central New York and the Mohawk Valley regions remain the global hub for Unmanned Aircraft System advancement and integration for generations to come,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press release.

The news marks a success for Cuomo, whose administration pledged $250 million into drone initiatives as part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative in 2015. Meanwhile, another one of the governor’s upstate economic development projects hasn’t been faring as well. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the value of Buffalo’s solar-panel factor – the embattled site operated by Tesla – has been underwritten by nearly $1 billion.

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
20200219