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Drone Questions Answered

It's complicated but it could be a booming business right in your back yard. Tuesday a panel gathered to answer community questions and concerns. And now we have some clarity on drone testing
It's complicated but it could be a booming business right in your back yard. Tuesday a panel gathered to answer community questions and concerns. And now we have some clarity on drone testing

They had questions....

"Well today I wanted to know how they were going to help group people together, group manufacturers together to attract those companies," says John Piseck, of Frankfort.

"How does us local organizations within the local community contribute to developing commercial products? " says Edward Jones, of Rome.

And they got a lot of answers, including some real facts and figures. According to economic research done by Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (UVSI), the drone testing site alone will create 468 jobs and make $145 million over the next four to five years for the state of New York. But one question that still remains unanswered is where will the startup money come from? Experts say they're hoping the state comes through.

"As with all the other test sites across the country, states are going to invest in the economic development aspect that are going to come from a test site," says Deborah Warner, VP of Public Policy and Government Relations, Centerstate Corporation for Economic Opportunity.

To get this industry off the ground, they will ask the state for $1.2 million for two years. Warner says the money should come from economic development funds not from tax payers. But she says if tax payers' money does help cover the startup cost, the benefits of the industry will outweigh the cost. Overall, participants at the forum only see advantages for the Mohawk Valley and New York State.

"This gets us back into a technology area that’s absolutely at its infancy. And the jobs, the downstream opportunities that are across the board will be absolutely magnificent,” says Paul Rayhill, of New Hartford.

Warner also says that she urges the community to do some research to better understand drones and what benefits they could have in our area.

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