Thursday, August 28, 2014

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New York group bids for drone testing site

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: New York group bids for drone testing site
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The FAA is looking for sites to test Unmanned Aircraft Systems and a group representing New York and Massachusetts announced Thursday they're hoping to land that designation.

More than 40 businesses and organizations have formed the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, or NUAIR. It pools academic, military and private assets to help win the bid for one of six testing sites. The sites will test drones for commercial and military purposes.

The FAA plans to open U.S. airspace to drones by 2015 and the sites are needed to ensure the aircraft safety.

NUAIR is hoping to open the northeast to millions of dollars in economic growth.

"We want our community to be welcoming to other companies who are operating in this technology space for them to come here and spend their resources here and do their testing here and have an economic impact here in Central New York and in Massachusetts," said NUAIR Chairman Robert Simpson.

The Air National Guard's 174th Attack Wing already operates drone aircraft out of Hancock Field in Mattydale. The FAA expects to announce the six chosen test sites by the end of the year.

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