BVLOS in New York: NUAIR licensed for 35 miles

NUAIR Brings BVLOS to New York as FAA Approves BVLOS Commercial Drone Operations Over 35 Miles in NY’s Drone Corridor.

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian Crosby

The FAA has authorized the New York nonprofit NUAIR and the New York UAS Test Site to fly beyond the line of sight (BVLOS) unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAS) over 35 miles of airspace within New York’s 80-mile drone corridor. Existing regulations require drone operators to have a clear view of the drone they are piloting and limit the distance it can fly. The BVLOS flight is critical to the advancement of routine commercial drone operations such as medical and parcel deliveries.

In 2019, NUAIR and the test site received their first BVLOS authorization for an 8 by 4 mile long airspace from the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport south to the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. This new airspace authority continues west of Griffiss towards Oneida Lake and expands its current BVLOS airspace to a total of 35 miles.

“The Oneida County Proving Ground at Griffiss International Airport has long been established as the elite hub for all UAS,” said Anthony J. Picente Jr., Executive of Oneida County. “The unique testing, research and development that takes place here negates the entire industry. This latest FAA approval will allow our 80-mile drone corridor to push the limits of what is possible one more time, and we look forward to the new advances that will result from it. “

“We have a long track record of safe UAS test flights and real-life implementation, including BVLOS operations,” said Tony Basile, COO of NUAIR. “This new BVLOS airspace permit will allow us to test more advanced long-haul flights and prove that BVLOS operations can be safely conducted – the key component to realizing the true economic benefit of commercial drone operations.”

NUAIR will use the ground-based surveillance systems (GBSS) installed throughout the corridor to monitor air traffic and detect intruders during BVLOS operations at an altitude of 400 feet or below, with visual observers to ensure the safety of operations.

“Supporting innovative technologies that create tomorrow’s jobs is at the heart of what ESD and New York State’s Regional Economic Development Councils want to achieve,” said Hope Knight, acting Commissioner for Empire State Development and President-elect and CEO. “By continuing to support the growing UAS industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, we will ensure its continued development in New York State and secure our place as the global leader in this emerging business.”

Since 2014, NUAIR has carried out more than 3,800 UAS test flights at the New York UAS test site with a total of over 950 flight hours. The new approval will help improve routine commercial drone operations and bring companies around the world to Central New York.

Read more about NUAIR, Operations Over People, NUAIR and Public Safety Agencies, and a drone corridor in New York.

Ian attended the Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he now contributes to DroneLife.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a passionate observer of the emerging drone industry and regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for emerging technologies.
For advice or writing on the drone industry, email Miriam.

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