The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will start testing Remote ID drone test flights at Griffiss International Airport in New York this month. The Griffiss test site is one of two locations that have been selected by the federal government nationally.
FAA starts Remote ID drone test flights at Griffiss Airport
In the second phase of a federal program to develop an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM), Remote ID drone test flights are set to begin this month at the Griffiss Internation Airport in Rome, NY.
The FAA has selected the Griffiss International Airport as one of two locations for the next phase in developing the unmanned air traffic control system. The other site is the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership in Blacksburg Virginia.
Northeast UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) Airspace Integration Research or NUAIR operates the drone test flight facilities at Griffiss.
“That our site has been chosen from what is already a small, elite group that has been granted test site status, is a testament to the high quality of work and collaboration of our partners in Rome,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. according to the Rome Sentinel.
Griffis International Airport, which is located at a former Air Force base, is owned by Oneida County.
Similarly to the current manned air traffic management system, the unmanned traffic management system aims to keep people, aircraft, and structures both in the air and on the ground safe. The development of such a system is a critical next step in making routine drone deliveries, for example, a reality.
The drone test flight facilities at Griffiss International Airport are part of a 50-mile corridor that extends all the way to Syracuse. The Griffiss test site is one of only a few locations that have received the authority to fly drones beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS), which is crucial to prove that control and safety systems work properly.
The first phase of the federal testing program was completed in August 2019. During that phase capabilities such as exchanging data between drone operators were tested, as well as the ability to create an emergency “no-fly zone” for general unmanned aircraft to clear the skies for emergency response drones, reports the News outlet.
In this second phase, the FAA says includes testing of remote identification technology in higher volumes and density. the agency says that the aim is to make sure control systems work in “increasingly complex environments.”
The county has begun converting a former Air Force hangar into a facility to test drones in a controlled indoor space, a project known as SkyDome. In his state address in January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he is seeking $9M in state funds to help the project.
NUAIR said that over the past five years more than 3,000 advanced test flights, including traffic management have taken place at Griffiss Airport.
Companies such as Aerodyne Measure, AiRXOS, Albany County Sheriff's Office, ANRA Technologies, AX Enterprize, Flytrex, Johns Hopkins University – Applied Physics Lab (on behalf of the FAA TCAS Program Office), NUAIR, Oneida County Sheriff's Department, OneSky, ResilienX, Skyward, Syracuse Fire Department and TruWeather Solutions have worked with NUAIR and Oneida County on unmanned-aircraft testing, proving, and documentation.
In earlier statements, the FAA said that the agency is looking to present that final ruling on Remote ID for drones by the end of 2020. With this news of Remote ID drone test flights starting at Griffiss Airport it seems that the FAA is not wasting any time.
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