November 10, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million to Establish World-Leading Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System in Central New York

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million to...

New Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System Will Run Along 50-Mile Corridor Between Syracuse and Rome

Investment Complements “Central NY Rising” – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $30 million investment to develop a 50-mile flight traffic management system between Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport in Rome to advance the burgeoning Unmanned Aircraft Systems industry in Central New York. Within the 50-mile corridor, strategic investments will accelerate industry growth by supporting emerging uses of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in key Central New York industries, including agriculture and forest management, transportation and logistics, media and film development, utilities and infrastructure, and public safety.



"This major development builds on Central New York’s strengths and will cement the region as a global hub for this rapidly growing industry," Governor Cuomo said. "With strategic investments in emerging high-growth sectors, we are strengthening regional economies across New York and reinvigorating this state’s spirit of innovation and enterprise."

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The investment will be made through a partnership between Empire State Development and the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance as part of Phase 2 of Project U-SAFE, which aims to accelerate the testing, certification and safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the airspace and unlock a trillion dollar global industry. For Phase 2, the State has committed to implementing NASA founded concepts of UAS Traffic Management Systems and UAS Standardized Testing and Rating. 

In August, the Governor announced a $5 million investment for Phase 1 and today’s announcement continues the State’s strong commitment to growing the Unmanned Aircraft Systems industry in Upstate New York.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "New York State is committed to making strategic investments that will ensure we are at the forefront of this fast-growing industry, which has great potential to create jobs and new economic opportunities. Whether it’s helping farmers or improving transportation and public safety, the innovative applications for UAS are nearly limitless and we believe this industry will have a significant, positive impact on the economy in Upstate New York for years to come."

This major investment in a UAS Traffic Management System will establish a 50-mile UTM flight corridor between Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport. Within this corridor, investments will be made in instrumentation, UTM software, and performance validation of drone security systems for critical infrastructure. These investments will accelerate the growth of the UAS industry by supporting emerging UAS uses in essential sectors of the Upstate economy. 

The new corridor will create opportunities for the world's leading sensor companies to deploy, test and validate their systems in support of UTM, for data integrators to test their software on multiple sensing platforms and for industry leading platforms to test and validate their technologies in a fully instrumented, beyond visual line of sight capable environment.

"With strategic investments in emerging high-growth sectors, we are strengthening regional economies across New York and reinvigorating this state’s spirit of innovation and enterprise."

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance will deliver a robust plan and release and oversee the RFP process in early 2017, establish an industry and academic consortium to drive business engagement, and together with State partners, ensure the deployment of the UTM corridor by 2018. NASA is collaborating with NUAIR to develop the required specifications for the development and procurement of a UTM system being commissioned by New York State and NUAIR for this 50-mile corridor. This is expected to engage numerous industry collaborators that will build on the already strong presence of UAS related firms in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley

The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance is comprised of more than 100 public, private and academic partners working collaboratively to advance the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace. To date, New York State has invested $7 million in the organization to support the development of range instrumentation and a data operations center at Griffiss International Airport.


Governor Cuomo Announces $30 Million to Establish World-Leading Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System in Central NY

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “The ongoing commitment from Governor Cuomo and New York State is crucial as we ramp up efforts to turn this fledgling industry in Central New York into a burgeoning sector that will truly benefit the entire region. We remain proud of the strategic plan that we put together last year to win the Upstate Revitalization Initiative competition. UAS is a major focus of the Central New York Rising initiative. We are thankful to the Governor and Commissioner Zemsky for their unwavering efforts to support strategies and initiatives developed here at the local level.” 

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair, CenterState President & CEO Rob Simpson said, "Today's announcement, by Governor Cuomo, represents an unparalleled commitment by New York State to support the advancement of the UAS and UTM industries in the region. This investment, coupled with the region’s private sector expertise; an FAA-designated test site; and broad industry partnerships have positioned our region to play a leading role in the global development of this $140 billion industry, and support business growth now and into the future."

Lawrence H. Brinker, Executive Director and General Counsel of the NUAIR Alliance, said, "We are proud to partner with Governor Cuomo and New York state to advance the systems and technologies that are critical to integrating UAS into the nation’s commercial airspace,” "This investment represents and exciting time in the advancement of the UAS and UTM industries in the region. UAS is the next great evolution of aviation in the United States and this region has leading capabilities and expertise to advance the technologies and systems that are driving this sector.”

Accelerating Central NY Rising

Today's announcement complements "Central NY Rising," the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. New York State has already invested nearly $3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs.

 

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