SCHUMER ANNOUNCES, FOLLOWING HIS PUSH, FAA REAUTHORIZATION BILL THAT INCLUDES FIVE-YEAR EXTENSION OF NEW YORK’S UAS TEST SITE DESIGNATION AT GRIFFISS AIRPORT HAS PASSED THE SENATE; EXTENSION CEMENTS TEST SITE AS NATIONAL HUB FOR UAS RESEARCH & DEPLOYMENT
The New York Test Site, Which Is Led By Oneida County & The NUAIR Alliance, Is One Of Seven Sites Nationwide That Were Set To Expire In 2019 Without Congressional Action; Senator Fought To Include Extension In Just-Passed FAA Reauthorization Bill
Schumer Led The Charge To Get The FAA To Choose Griffiss As A Test Site, Putting Region On The Map As A Leader In Developing Technologies For Safe UAS Operations In The Nation’s Airspace
Senators: Extension of UAS Test Site Designation At Griffiss Will Keep Central New York & The Mohawk Valley At The Forefront Of The Global UAS Industry
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his push, the just-passed five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill includes language that would extend the designation for the New York UAS Test Site located at Griffiss International Airport until 2023. The designations for the seven unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test sites around the country were set to expire in 2019 without congressional action. This extension will ensure that the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport, which is led by Oneida County and the NUAIR Alliance, remains at the forefront of public policy development, commercialization, and safe integration of UAS into the global airspace. Since the New York Test Site’s inception in 2014, it has worked with over 200 partners to advance UAS research and to accelerate UAS industry economic development in the region.
“With this critical test site extension at Griffiss, we have delivered to NUAIR and Oneida County another critical win to keep it at the cutting edge of this new technology. In just a few years, the New York Test Site has brought droves of clients to Griffiss, from global corporations and premier academic institutions to partners in government like the FBI, NASA, and FAA. All of which are choosing New York to test technologies that will safely and efficiently integrate UAS into the national airspace,” said Senator Schumer. “The unparalleled work being done in Central New York and Mohawk Valley is exactly what we envisioned when we sought and secured the FAA Test Site in Rome in 2014 and this extension will ensure that continues for years to come.”
Schumer highlighted important work currently being conducted by NUAIR and Oneida County as one of the reasons an extension was so important. In response to current challenges faced by the UAS industry, the FAA assigned a topic for each site to focus on. For Griffiss and the NUAIR alliance, they are tasked with concentrating on the UAS industry’s inability to comply with “see and avoid” flight requirements because of the lack of an on-board pilot. This has spurred state and private investment that has allowed NUAIR and its alliance partners to deploy state-of-the-art range instrumentation which can track UAS in the air and provide safety-enhancing sense and avoid capabilities. This testing capability, which spans a 50-mile corridor from Rome to Syracuse, was the first of its kind at any UAS test site in the country and has made Griffiss International Airport a strategic location for the emerging UAS industry.
Schumer has long been an advocate for bringing UAS jobs and technology to Central New York. Schumer fought to increase the number of test sites in the National Airspace System for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from 4 to 7, which paved the way for NUAIR and Oneida County to apply. Through local meetings with NUAIR and Oneida County officials, a series of personal phone calls and meetings with former FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Schumer worked to make the case that the FAA should select NUAIR’s application, led by Griffis International Airport, to be one of the seven national test sites for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) designation, and the FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation eventually heeded Schumer’s call.