Friday, 13 July 2018 13:00

Drones Over Oswego County

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Drones Over Oswego County Submitted photo

The Northeast USA Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR) Alliance is in the process of building an air corridor to assist in testing unmanned aircraft.

The Oswego County Airport is now part of that research corridor which includes Hancock International Airport in Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport in Rome.

NUAIR, headquartered at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, operates and oversees UAS testing in the region. Griffiss is one of just six FAA designated testing sites across the country. NUAIR acts as a liaison with the FAA.

The controlled airspace around Hancock International Airport includes the Oswego County Airport, which NUAIR is authorized to operate within.

The Oswego County Airport was chosen partly because it is a non-towered airport. Both Griffiss and Hancock have towers. The Oswego County Airport also has the advantage of a rural setting which differs from either Griffiss or Hancock.

Restrictions for flying commercial unmanned aircraft limit the weight of the aircraft to 55 pounds or less, they must fly below 400 feet, and the operator must maintain visual sight of the aircraft at all times.

The FAA has authorized test sites to fly larger aircraft, fly above 400 feet, and fly beyond the operator’s line of sight by using additional observers along the flight route.

The test sites are strictly for commercial research and development. Use of the airspace by hobbyists is strictly prohibited.

Recently, NUAIR visited the Oswego County Airport to get familiar with the capabilities of the facility and to conduct a few short test flights.

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