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Griffiss Airport in Running to be Chosen as an Unmanned Air Craft Testing Site

New York State Senator Chuck Schumer spoke at Griffiss International Airport on Monday about his push for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to select the airport as a testing site for unmanned aerial systems. Griffiss is one of 25 sites left in the running to be chosen as a test site and the FAA is choosing six areas.
New York State Senator Chuck Schumer spoke at Griffiss International Airport on Monday about his push for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to select the airport as a testing site for unmanned aerial systems. Griffiss is one of 25 sites left in the running to be chosen as a test site and the FAA is choosing six areas. If chosen, the site will bring far more to Central New York than just aircrafts.
"Winning this site is huge for Central New York,” said Mary Chruscicki, Executive Director of the Cyber New York Alliance.
Chruscicki is working closely with Griffiss on the application to become a test site. She says being chosen would make Rome a desirable place for new businesses in the unmanned aircraft industry to migrate to.
"The win of one of these FAA test sites, I've already been told that a number of companies will establish a presence here which means jobs,” said Chruscicki.
And lots of them. Senator Schumer says the industry would create an estimated 70,000 new jobs and he wants to see a chunk of them in Rome.
“You try to fight for every job but there are certain things that create a lot of jobs, that make us a job center, and what we're talking about here today could very well do that,” said Senator Schumer.
The senator along with other local leaders and community members listed several reasons as to why Griffiss would be an ideal location for the testing site.
"The Rome lab is here, the Cyber Alliance is here, we have a lot of computer cyber type technology companies that work here on the base,” said airport commissioner Dick Gifford.
"New York State has a lot of academic research in high tech fields and some academic research already being done on unmanned systems,” said Andrea Bianchi, program manager for NUAIR Alliance.
The runway at Griffiss is another reason that makes it such an ideal location for the site. The runway is 11,820 feet, one of the largest in the Northeast.
"We're so centrally located, we have a facility that can land any aircraft in the world here,” said Gifford.
The total economic impact of the unmanned systems industry is a projected $82 billion nationwide by the year 2025. Senator Schumer says he expects the FAA to make their decision about the sites within the next six months.

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