FAA approves BVLOS at NY drone corridor
The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance Inc., or NUAIR, announced that the FAA has approved for unmanned aircraft to fly beyond-visual-line-of-sight across 35 miles of airspace within New York’s 50-mile drone corridor.
Currently, the FAA does not allow drone flights to take place beyond-visual-line-of-sight without a waiver, which limits the ability to use drones for long-distance operations.
“We have a long track record of safe UAS test flights and real-life implementation, including BVLOS operations,” said NUAIR Chief of Operations Tony Basile in a statement. “This new BVLOS airspace authorization will allow us to test more advanced, long-range flights and help us prove BVLOS operations can be done safely — the key component in realizing the true economic advantage of commercial drone operations.”
The drone test corridor in the state of New York covers an area between Rome and Syracuse. The FAA authorized BVLOS drone flights for an 8-by-4-mile stretch of airspace from Griffiss International Airport in Rome south to the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany in 2019. On Tuesday the FAA approved the extension of the BVLOS area west of Griffiss toward Oneida Lake.
To keep the BVLOS drone flights safe, NUAIR will use ground-based surveillance systems (GBSS) that are installed throughout the test area to monitor all air traffic. Additionally, visual observers can also be deployed to further increase the safety of operations.
Since test drone flights began in 2014, NUAIR has performed over 3,800 drone test flights or 950 flight hours at the test facility.
“Oneida County’s Test Site at Griffiss International Airport has long established itself as an elite hub for all things UAS,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. according to Observer Dispatch. “The one-of-a-kind testing, research and development that occurs here is elevating the entire industry. This latest FAA authorization will allow our 50-mile drone corridor to push the limits of what is possible yet again, and we look forward to the new advancements that will result.”
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