© 2021 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Science/Technology

Central NY drone corridor left out of national project

drone_testing.jpg
Payne Horning
/
WRVO News File Photo
Last summer, NASA participated in a drone demonstration at the Griffiss International Airport to test a traffic management system for unmanned aerial vehicles.

The 50-mile drone corridor that the state is building in central New York will not be part of a new federal pilot program meant to accelerate drone integration into national airspace.

The Department of Transportation's program is a partnership with state and local governments to establish innovation zones for testing drone operations and traffic management systems. New York State and Amazon filed a joint application to participate in the initiative, but they were not selected.

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) said the news was "boggling" considering that similar work is underway in central New York in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA.

"This would’ve expanded on what we’re already doing here in the central New York area," Brindisi said. "We really have one of the best test sites in the world and we want to see this industry grow, and we should be a leader in that area. And I think this partnership the state put together with Amazon was certainly a step in the right direction to furthering the progress we have made at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park with the drone test site."

Brindisi, a Democrat, and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, a Republican, suggested that central New York may have been passed overy by the Trump Administration for political reasons. They have reached out to the federal government to demand answers on why their application was rejected.

Related Content