GRIFFISS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Oneida County | Rome, NY
The Griffiss FAA UAS Test Site will be transformed through multiple stages of airspace expansion to create world-leading infrastructure for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) testing. Before multiple large or small drones can fly in the same airspace as other aircraft, procedures need to be developed for drone pilots to safely detect and avoid other air traffic. Today’s system at Griffiss-with high-definition air traffic surveillance, state-of-the-art data collection and analysis capabilities-is the foundation for testing and certification of UAS detect-and-avoid systems to meet future FAA standards and support safe UAS integration into U.S. airspace.
Plans are underway for expanding the current UAS test site at Griffiss, managed by NUAIR, to cover 15,000 square miles of New York airspace, creating a world-class Central New York beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) test and development facility for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the UAS industry.
To the north and northeast of Griffiss testing takes place for precision agriculture and forestry, wildlife and conservation activities. To the west of Griffiss towards Syracuse will create a surveillance corridor along the thruway, to surveil power lines, railways, etc. Under a continuing teaming agreement with Griffiss the NUAIR Alliance manages the test site and is responsible for supporting Griffiss, under FAA safety oversight, in the areas of program management and conduct of operations. The Griffiss-NUAIR team, working together, combine to bring the strengths of public and private sectors to meet the challenges of effective UAS Test Site operation.
Griffiss Business & Technology Park is a key asset, not just for the Mohawk Valley, but for all of New York State. The Griffiss Park has attained national recognition for transforming a former Air Force installation into a vibrant business and technology park, and is now home to over 75 businesses and 5700 employees. Griffiss has development districts with specific focuses in technology, manufacturing, aviation, office, education and recreation. It is the location of choice for diverse organizations that are recognized globally, and for their innovative research, products and services, internationally renowned cyber research, sensor, information security and computer engineering firms and agencies.
Today, Premier Aviation, Midair USA, Aviation Services Unlimited (Bell Helicopter), Reutter A&P, and Waypoint A&P operate maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities at Griffiss. In 2006, Mohawk Valley Community College opened an A&P mechanic training program at Griffiss to provide manpower needed to support the MRO Industry. MVCC is developing a UAS Operating & Training Program to create a workforce pipeline for the UAS industry.
The function of the Griffiss International Airport is to provide a safe and well maintained facility to serve the current and future commercial, corporate, business, governmental, and general aviation needs of Oneida County and the State of New York. The goal of the Griffiss International Airport is to expand its economic impact in order to ensure that the community achieves the maximum benefit from the airport’s potential for enhancing economic growth.
The NUAIR Alliance has access to more than 7,000 square miles of diverse airspace above varied terrain, inland lakes, rivers, ports, harbors, coastal and maritime areas in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan. The varied weather patterns and robust winters in the Northeast provide all-seasons testing capabilities. NUAIR customers have approved access from the surface up to FL250 with current airspace, including special access all the way to FL750 upon request. In 2016 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a broad area 1,200 foot Class G UAS Test Site authorization to the Griffiss UAS Test Site. Griffiss expects to expands beyond its current Griffiss large-UAS Class D, E, and A airspace certificates of authorization (COA), to a large-UAS Class E and A airspace COA covering 60 nautical miles around Griffiss. Griffiss holds an FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to operate large UAS in the GSS airspace. Class G, D, E and A are all included in the COA.
NUAIR has hanger and adjacent ramp access facilities at Griffiss, which have been newly renovated to support unmanned aircraft system (UAS) activity.