New York’s 50-mile drone corridor integrates 5G test network for unmanned aircraft

The New York Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test site at Griffiss International Airport, managed by the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), and the 50-Mile drone corridor between Syracuse and Rome is to benefit from a 5G test network. MITRE Engenuity Open Generation 5G Consortium is installing the network following an announcement by New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

With coordination from NUAIR, the corridor will include an experimentation hub with more than 100 square miles dedicated to 5G beyond-visual-line-of-site testing and long-range flight paths – a capability critical to the commercialization of safe and secure unmanned aircraft systems.

New York receiving the 5G technology for its drone corridor represents a new milestone for the sector’s continued development in the state. Within this corridor, strategic investments are accelerating industry growth by supporting emerging uses in key industries, including agriculture and forest management, transportation and logistics, media and film development, utilities and infrastructure, and public safety.

New York State established itself as the nation’s premiere destination for drones and businesses at the forefront of innovation by making a USD30 million investment in 2016 to develop the 50-mile flight traffic management system between Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport in Rome. In total, the state has invested nearly USD70 million over the past five years to advance the unmanned aircraft systems industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley.

“New York will be the first FAA-designated UAS test site with a bespoke 5G network,” NUAIR CEO Ken Stewart said. “The industry is looking for an FAA and FCC approved communications network that has the capability and reliability needed for safe commercial drone operations. 5G holds the promise of unlocking scalable, economically viable drone operations and we are confident that our work in New York will help determine if 5G is a suitable solution for the UAS industry.”

Rome is home to the New York State Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site, one of only seven FAA-Designated unmanned aircraft systems test sites in the United States. Owned by Oneida County and managed by NUAIR, the site consists of a highly instrumented unmanned aircraft systems testing facility at Griffiss International Airport in Rome and is part of New York’s 50-mile unmanned aircraft systems traffic management corridor between Rome to Syracuse.

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