Central NY could be test site for unmanned aircraft

by Jim Kenyon

Imagine looking up toward the sky one day and realizing that many of the aircraft flying overhead would be unmanned, meaning no pilot.

On Thursday, local economic development officials announced the formation of the NUAIR alliance. The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance is a consortium of 40 organizations in New York and Massachusetts. NUAIR is applying to the Federal Aviation Administration to have this region designated as one of 6 test sites for the development of unmanned aircraft systems. The military is already using unmanned aircraft called drones for air defense missions, but the FAA wants to apply the technology to the commercial sector.