Skip to content


Companies Will Partner With Rome Lab, The Griffiss UAS Test Site, NUAIR, Scherzi Systems LLC & Syracuse University To Enhance The United States’ Military & Civilian UAS Capabilities

Schumer: Agreement Is A Win-Win For Our Nation And The Mohawk Valley Economy

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that AX Enterprize LLC. of Yorkville and Thales USA, a global leader in UAS Air Traffic Management, have been awarded a $7,753,015 Air Force Research Lab (Rome Lab) contract. The project will use state-of-the-art air traffic management (ATM) systems to investigate how civilian and military Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) will safely coexist alongside manned aviation in the National Airspace System (NAS). Schumer explained that the work will be completed at the Griffiss UAS Test Site in Rome by a partnership of AX Enterprize, Thales USA, NUAIR, Scherzi Systems LLC and Syracuse University’s Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE) and Autonomous Systems Policy Institute (ASPI). Air Force Research Lab in Rome (AFRL) is the contracting authority for the award and the work is expected to be completed by September 30, 2020.

“The Air Force made the right choice by selecting AX, Thales USA and the existing UAS infrastructure in Rome for this critical work. These investments are exactly the kind we envisioned when we secured the FAA Test Site in Rome and why I make it a priority to increase funding for Rome Lab each year,” said Senator Schumer. “Safely integrating UAS into the national airspace has enormous economic and national security potential for the United States. This award proves that there is no better place in the country to harness that potential than right here in the Mohawk Valley.”

“We believe this is an opportunity for AX to play an important role in advancing the UAS industry in the U.S. while maintaining safety and security in the National Airspace System,” said Pat Baskinger, CEO of AX Enterprize. “AX is thrilled to be a part of this unique moment in aviation history.”

“Seamless integration of civil and military manned and unmanned operations will be a significant game changer for airspace management,” said Todd Donovan, Vice President for ATM – Americas for Thales. “Thales is proud to be a part of such an activity and to bring our decisive technologies along with our local presence to this market-shaping effort here in Central New York State.”

“I’m pleased that the Air Force choose AX Enterprize and Thales USA to receive this contract and I would like to thank Sen. Schumer for helping to secure it,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “This announcement is further evidence of the crucial importance of collaboration between Rome Lab and Oneida County’s UAS Test Site at Griffiss and of the value of having partners such as NUAIR, Syracuse University and Scherzi Systems.” 

Schumer explained that before multiple large or small UAS can fly in the same airspace as other aircraft, procedures need to be developed for drone pilots to safely detect and avoid other air traffic. This project will develop a policy approach and data exchange models – using high-definition air traffic surveillance and ground-based sense-avoid radar technology at Griffiss – to ensure that UAS and manned aircraft can operate within close proximity safely in the National Airspace System (NAS). Schumer added that the world-leading UAS infrastructure at Griffiss, national prominence of Rome Lab and the local expertise of AX Enterprize and Thales USA make the Mohawk Valley an ideal location for this work.

AX Enterprize of Yorkville has a long history working with all aspects of UAS, and constructed the FAA’s New York UAS Test Site Operations and Data Management Center at Griffiss International Airport, which it still maintains today. Thales USA is a global leader in air traffic management solutions and recently established a presence and dozens of jobs in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York.