New York State Makes Multimillion-Dollar Investment in UAS Industry


Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has announced a $5 million commitment to support and grow the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry in New York State.

Through this initial investment, the state will bolster the ongoing efforts to create a hub for UAS innovation and manufacturing in Upstate New York – specifically supporting concepts originated by NASA. This will include the planning and design of next-generation UAS traffic management (UTM) infrastructure, national UAS standardized testing and rating facilities, and a district dedicated to unmanned systems in a corridor between the cities of Syracuse and Rome.

According to a release from Cuomo’s office, supporting the effort is the regional presence of aerospace firms such as Saab, Lockheed Martin and SRC, as well as regional assets such as the NUAIR Alliance, which operates the FAA-designated UAS test site based at Griffiss International Airport. In November, Upstate New York is also hosting the 2016 UTM Convention.

Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development’s president, CEO and commissioner, adds, “With the announcement of this significant investment, New York State is furthering its commitment to the efforts of focusing on this emerging field. We are determined to ensure that our state is well positioned when it comes to the burgeoning unmanned aircraft system industry.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Zemsky’s participation in today’s White House workshop on UAS. The investment also complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s blueprint to generate economic growth and community development. The state has already invested nearly $3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy.

“Strategic investments in innovation and the industries of tomorrow are key components of our approach to economic development, and this is an emerging sector with high-growth potential,” the governor says. “This commitment and our partnership with regional stakeholders from central New York will ensure that New York State continues to lead the way in the development of high-tech, job-creating industries.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. adds, “This support will not only grow the UAS industry, but will create jobs and economic opportunity across the region. I commend Gov. Cuomo for this investment in making the future of central New York even brighter.”

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