WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Aviation Administration today approved a second application from the Syracuse-based NUAIR alliance to begin flight tests of unmanned aircraft in the skies over Central New York.
The latest approval is for Fairfax, Va.-basedLogos Technologies to test a parafoil drone, flying exclusively out of Griffiss International Airport in Rome, according to U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna and Logos officials. Testing is likely to begin in October.
The FAA granted special permission for tests involving the unmanned Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform (TEMP), an aircraft intended for missions that include precision cargo delivery to remote and inaccessible areas, Logos Technologies officials said
The drone could assist with emergency response efforts, as well as other commercial and military uses.
"This news is a great development for the Griffiss community," Hanna, R-Barneveld, said in a statement today. "I look forward to continuing to work to facilitate the responsible development of innovative new technologies like those that Logos Technologies is known for, and demonstrating the great opportunities that the Mohawk Valley can provide to small businesses."
In August, the FAA approved the first flight tests for NUAIR (the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance), a consortium of about 40 public and private entities and academic institutions in New York and Massachusetts.
NUAIR is one of six national test sites where researchers will help figure out how to integrate drones into the national airspace by 2015, while also respecting privacy rights.
The first client approved for NUAIR test flights was Cornell Cooperative Extension, which uses small PrecisionHawk fixed-wing aircraft. The drones fly about 400 feet above farms to collect data on corn, wheat and soybean crops. Sensors will allow scientists to collect data about crop growth, insect activity, crop disease and soil conditions.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the latest FAA approval for NUAIR is a positive sign for Central New York's economy.
"Today's news, clearing the runway for another NUAIR test flight over Griffiss, is just one of many more approvals to come," Schumer said. "NUAIR has put Central New York on the map as a leader in unmanned aerial testing and research. As they continue to rack up the FAA approvals, companies will keep flocking to the Central New York test site, allowing good-paying jobs to take off."
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