New York selected as drone test site by FAA

Defence Images via/Flickr
December 31, 2013

The old Air Force base in Rome will become the new headquarters of upstate New York’s unmanned drone testing program. As The Innovation Trail’s Ryan Delaney reports, officials hope it will be the center of an expanding drone industry in the state.

Upstate New York has secured a coveted federal test site designation for unmanned aerial drones from the Federal Aviation Administration.

New York was one of six sites named by the FAA today. It’s part of the agency’s work to figure out how drones can operate along-side manned airplanes by the end of 2015.

Rob Simpson of CenterState CEO is president of the coalition of universities and defense companies that put in the successful bid. He says it positions the region for jobs and research dollars that will go along with the industry’s growth.

“Companies who are looking to test out their technologies for integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into the commercial airspace safely are going to have to do work in one of those six test locations and we're going to be well positioned to get some of that work," says Simpson.

The five other sites are Alaska, Nevada, Texas, North Dakota and Virginia. The FAA says it wanted diverse climates and geographies in the sites. The agency says safety and privacy will be the test programs main goals.