Gov. Cuomo announces $12.5 million to expand the Syracuse Tech Garden for drones

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Source: Syracuse.com

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the state plans to invest $12.5 million to expand the Syracuse Technology Garden.

The money will be used to add two floors to the center, he said at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport.

Drones will be tested inside the facility before they are operated outside in the newly completed 50-mile drone test corridor between Syracuse and Rome, Cuomo said. The Tech Garden is run by CenterState CEO.

The corridor allows government and private companies to test drones and other unmanned aerial systems beyond visual line of sight.

Normally, drones are not allowed to operate beyond an operator’s line of sight for safety reasons. However, they will be allowed to do so in the corridor because they can be tracked by radar and kept out of the way of other aircraft. The radar network is specially designed to detect and track small, low-flying unmanned vehicles.

Nuair is the Central New York’s drone industry alliance set up to build and operate the drone corridor.

Central New York drone corridor

Screenshot from Nuair video shows a 50-mile drone test corridor between Rome and Syracuse.

The Federal Aviation Administration named the Nuair-managed unmanned aerial test site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome as one of seven drone test sites around the country. The corridor effectively expands that test site all the way to Syracuse.

Nuair and CenterState CEO, a Syracuse-based economic development and planning organization, hope that the test corridor will benefit the region’s economy by attracting companies involved in the unmanned aerial systems industry to establish operations here.

Portions of the corridor -- an area around Griffiss -- are already being used for drone testing, with more than 2,500 successful test flights, according to Nuair.

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