New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his state’s partnership between NASA and the Northeast UAS Airspace Integrations Research Alliance, and the $30 million investment NY has made in the development of a 50-mile drone corridor and new drone testing facility.
The investment is the latest New York has made to bring the drone industry into the central part of the state. “State investment in the burgeoning drone industry complements ‘Central NY Rising’ – the region’s comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy,” says the governor’s announcement.
Calling the new drone testing facility, called NUSTAR, “the most comprehensive UAS test facility in the nation,” the governor’s announcement said that the addition of the drone corridor was “a breakthrough infrastructure asset intending to unlock beyond-visual-line-of-sight commercial operations,” and said that a recent exhibition of the corridor’s first phase “highlighted the State’s commitment to the burgeoning industry and what has become the most advanced drone testing corridor in the nation.”
“With this groundbreaking partnership and our $30 million investment for the most advanced drone testing in the country, we are establishing Central New York and the Mohawk Valley as the premiere destination for businesses at the forefront of innovation,” Governor Cuomo said. “By investing in this cutting-edge technology, we are creating a pathway to grow the upstate economy and create good-paying, quality jobs in the industries of the future.”
Many states have invested heavily in facilities and programs designed to attract the drone industry. But NY’s drone corridor gives the area a unique tool for companies hoping to participate in unmanned traffic management solutions. The governor’s office says that New York’s investments in the drone industry are resulting in jobs for the area. “Dividends are already paying off, as regionally based SRC Incorporated plans to initially hire 50 engineers following its announcement of a $65 million contract with the U.S. Army to develop a system to detect and defeat small drones,” says the office. “Additionally, the company plans to add up to 1000 new hires over the next five years thanks in large part to the state’s investment in the UAS industry which is working to create an ecosystem that will attract companies to Central New York. There are nearly 200 companies from across the world exploring investment opportunities in the region.”
FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell said, “The partnership at work in NY to implement the UTM corridor is writing another chapter in aviation’s rich history of innovation. Allowing safe, beyond visual line of sight UAS operations through detection of manned and unmanned vehicles is the critical next step toward fully recognizing the benefits of this new technology.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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