New York UAS test site now operational

The FAA reports that the Griffiss International Airport unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site in Rome, N.Y., is ready to conduct research on integrating UAS into the national airspace system (NAS).

In addition to providing invaluable information for the integration of UAS into the NAS, the research at the Griffiss test site will evaluate methods for scouting agricultural fields using different types of sensors, including visual, thermal and multispectral equipment, which will benefit farmers regionally and nationally, according to FAA officials. The research will enhance current methods of monitoring crops and provide additional information for continuing field research efforts.

“We are accomplishing two important missions with the launch of this test site,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the NAS is our number one priority, but the agricultural research performed in Rome also may have far-reaching benefits to farmers in New York and across the nation.”

The FAA granted the Griffiss International Airport team a two-year Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to use a PrecisionHawk Lancaster Platform UAS. The Lancaster Platform weighs approximately three pounds and has a wingspan of 4 feet.

PrecisionHawkUASThe site’s specific UAS projects include detection of insects, weeds, diseases, crop characteristics, crop biomass and background soil characteristics in two farm fields.

Flights will take place at or below 400 feet, and will last up to 60 minutes from takeoff to landing. They will be repeated as needed to take geospatially-referenced imagery as part of the agricultural research.

Eventually, the site also will manage unmanned agricultural research flights from Joint Base Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

The Griffiss team also plans to work on developing test and evaluation processes under FAA safety oversight, and conduct research on sense and avoid capabilities to prevent collisions with other manned and unmanned aircraft.

“The data the Griffiss team plans to acquire and share will help the FAA in researching the complexities of integrating UAS into the congested Northeast airspace,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

The FAA was directed by Congress to select six UAS test sites. The agency is working with the test sites to guide their research programs to help the FAA safely integrate UAS into the NAS over the next several years and to perform other practical research made possible by the use of UAS.

For more information: FAA.gov/uas

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Comments

  1. Harry Gutshall says:

    Keep aircraft safe zones for takeoffs and approach zones and no fly areas for safe passenger takeoffs and landings around our nations airports. Additionally, estsblish no fly zones around residential developements and prohibit photography of private homes and property without being granted permission by property owners and or residents. Noise will be an issue as well and all other privacy concerns must be addressed.

    Regards,
    Harry Gutshall
    Retired Airline CA, SWA

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