New York’s Griffiss International Airport Serves as Aerial Drone Testing Site

Griffiss International Airport is helping revive the aerospace industry in Central New York by serving as one of the seven designated testing sites in the country for unmanned aircraft systems, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Officials with Nuair, a nonprofit organization overseeing the site, said more than 2.6K flight tests have been performed at Griffiss since 2014. Nuair’s team at the airport is working on a technology that will allow drones to detect and avoid other aircraft as well as platforms that will allow air traffic controllers and law enforcement agencies to remotely detect such unmanned systems.

“The concept behind it is not only to test future technologies for unmanned aerial systems, but to operationalize and commercialize that technology,” said Nuair CEO Mike Hertzendorf. He said he expects drone testing at the site to ramp up in 2020.

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to create a traffic management system using data from flight tests that will be carried out at a 50-mile test corridor stretching between Griffiss and the city of Syracuse in New York. Griffiss previouly served as a base for the U.S. Air Force's fleet of bombers and tankers.

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