Who decides if NUAIR's drones are safe to fly in central New York?

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Cady P. Kepler Jr., of Chittenango, has been hired by NUAIR Alliance as its first airworthiness manager.

Cady Kepler Jr.JPGCady Kepler Jr.

In his new job, Kepler will determine if an unmanned aircraft system is safe for flight. He will be responsible for reviewing engineering data and flight records, and overseeing and documenting physical inspections and test flights of the drones at NUAIR's test sites in New York and Massachusetts.

Kepler served as a mechanic instructor for MQ-9 Reaper aircraft at Hancock Field Air National Guard base, in Syracuse. He has worked more than 33 years with a broad range of manned and unmanned aircraft, including the MQ-1, MQ-9 and F-16C.

"We are extremely fortunate to have someone with his skill and background as part of our team working to build a world-class UAS program at Griffiss," said Larry Brinker, executive director of NUAIR Alliance.

In 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration selected Griffiss International Airport, in Rome, and the NUAIR Alliance as one of six test sites to conduct drone research and development.

The NUAIR will conduct drone testing at several locations in New York and Massachusetts this year.

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