NUAIR announces first phase of New York UTM corridor

By Patrick C. Miller | November 08, 2017

The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR) Alliance has launched the first phase of a 50-mile unmanned traffic management (UTM) corridor to help grow the drone industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley.

It’s part of a partnership between NUAIR and NASA that also marks the creation of NUSTAR, a comprehensive UAS test facility centered on facilities at the Griffiss International Airport near Rome, New York. Both are elements of the state’s Unmanned Secure Autonomous Flight Environment (U-SAFE) program.

According to the organizaiton, the beyond-visual-line-of-sight UTM Corridor is the first of its kind and the most advanced drone testing corridor in the U.S. It will enable companies to test both UAS platforms and UTM technologies in real-world settings, generating data to advance the commercial use of drones.

"New York State’s strategic, multimillion-dollar investment in the drone corridor through the CNY Rising initiative will ensure that the region is at the forefront of this burgeoning industry,” said Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development. “The innovative applications for UAS are limitless and will continue to have a significant impact on the Upstate economy for years to come."

The first phase of the 50-mile UTM corridor is now operational, making the technology available in a 5-mile loop around Griffiss Air Force Base. 

The NUAIR Alliance has officially opened the selection process of vendors for the design and installation of Phase II of U-SAFE for its BVLOS UTM test corridor. The request for qualifications (RFQ) will identify the most qualified respondents who will then be asked to submit a formal proposal. The RFQ period is open until Nov. 30.