Last Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced an agreement between NASA and the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance that will grow the drone industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. The agreement includes the launch of a 50-mile Unmanned Traffic Management Corridor and creation of NUSTAR, a UAS test facility.

Gov. Cuomo said:

“With this groundbreaking partnership and our $30 million investment for the most advanced drone testing in the country, we are establishing Central New York and the Mohawk Valley as the premiere destination for businesses at the forefront of innovation. By investing in this cutting-edge technology, we are creating a pathway to grow the upstate economy and create good-paying, quality jobs in the industries of the future.”

It is good to see this type of forward-thinking investment in Upstate New York. The possibilities for drones are endless. Just last week, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that it has deployed a fleet of 22 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or “drones,” across the state to enhance the state’s environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts.

New York needs to continue to identify other emerging technologies that can enhance business productivity and increase public safety and support research and development in those technologies.