New York Test Site Gets FAA Clearance to Fly Private Drones

Finally, after months of waiting, upstate New York test site gets the clearance from FAA to fly private drones for purposes of research.

NUAIR (Northeast UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Airspace Integration Research Alliance) was one of the six sites selected by the FAA in late 2013 — along with Alaska, Nevada, Texas, North Dakota and Virginia — to operate test sites for about two years, as the federal government comes up with regulations for drone’s integration in the national airspace. New York’s site is the fifth to get clearance to operate; Virginia is still waiting for a go ahead. – See more here:

According to news, the research test drone flights will first focus on agriculture.

The main focus of the New York site will be on evaluating methods for scouting agricultural fields using different types of sensors, research that is expected to enhance current ways of monitoring crops, and flights will be conducted by Canada’s PrecisionHawk Lancaster Platform drone. – Read more here:

This is welcome news for those who see great economic benefits in the use of drones. The test site is promoted as a major economic asset for upstate New York. Proponents says having the test site will allow the region to be a hub for a growing, multi-billion dollar industry, according to the above-news from NCPR.

Bill Verbeten, a regional agronomist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, said cameras and other imaging devices can do something as simple as spot crop damage or as complicated as gauging what a crop might need by assessing its green hue. He hopes for initial flights in September covering a small area, and authorization to fly over as many as 5,000 acres in western New York by the start of next year’s growing season.  “When we do this, we want to do it right,” Verbeten said. “We want to help the farming community.”  – Read more at:


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