Griffiss Airport in Rome selected as national drone test site

Griffiss International Airport in Rome is one of 6 locations selected as unmanned aircraft system test sites.

Bases in Syracuse, Plattsburgh and Fort Drum will also be involved in testing in Central New York.

Griffiss is a part of the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, which will headquarter two FAA test sites. In addition to Rome, NUAIR will host a test site at Joint Base Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

NUAIR is an alliance of more than 40 private and public entities and academic institutions from across New York and Massachusetts that have partnered to promote Griffiss as an ideal location to conduct testing and research.

Officials say NUAIR could generate nearly $700 million in new York and Massachusetts, and more than 4,000 jobs.

"Today's announcement, recognizing the NUAIR team as an official FAA test site, is a slam dunk for Central and Northern New York," said Sen. Chuck Schumer. "This unmanned air systems research and testing will usher in jobs while benefiting key industries, like agriculture and logistics. I have no doubt, that with this announcement, Central and Northern New York will become the Silicon Valley of unmanned systems advancements."

"I am pleased that the FAA chose Oneida County to be a nationally recognized center of research, development and testing of unmanned aircraft systems," said Rep. Richard Hanna. "Helping build a new high-tech economy in the Mohawk Valley is essential to the future of our community. Promoting Griffiss as a hub for new jobs and innovation is a major part of this effort and this news is exciting for our region's future. Congratulations to NUAIR for its hard work."

â??I was proud to work hand in glove with Senator Schumer in making the case for NUAIR," said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi. "Now that an official unmanned designation from the FAA has landed right here in the Mohawk Valley, our regional economy is poised for takeoff.â??

Drones could be seen in the sky as soon as four months from right now.

Each base will have to undergo an annual evaluation to make sure they are still up to date with their technologies.

All drones involved have GPS systems to let those testing them know exactly where they are.

One of the main reasons the Adirondack Mountains were chosen as a testing location was due to the limited commercial air traffic which is seen in the area.