Civilian drone industry about to take off in Central New York

typical remote controlled drone

Today Manley Field House at Syracuse University became a test site for drones as Upstate New York moves ahead with plans to become a center for the research and development of unmanned aircraft for civilian use.

Senator Chuck Schumer joined with local political and community leaders along with S-U officials to announced that NUAIR has landed its first client. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday announced that NUAIR will oversee a test site for drones that extends from Central New York to Massachusetts. It is one of six sites selected to develop a civilian industry that could amount to $82 billion and employ 100 thousand people nationwide.

A New York City company called Flyterra has become the first to join with NUAIR. Flyterra hopes to perfect drones that could be used for agriculture, mining, energy systems and disaster response.

'We could become the Silicon Valley of unmanned aircraft." Schumer told reporters.

Joe Kummer showed off his invention called a "propulsive wing." Though he could only get it to hover for a few seconds at a time, Kummer says if he powered it up, it would zoom to the to the ceiling. "You wouldn;'t want to scale this up and make this a typical manned aircraft, but as a drone, since there's no one in here, you can take some liberties from an aerodynamic standpoint." Kummer said.

Though Kummer's company has not yet partnered with NUAIR, he told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "This is pretty exciting. This is going to be here in central New York where hopefully we can get some partners and work on flight testing the vehicles without going somewhere else in the country."