ROME, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced on Friday, March 24 that Oneida County’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome is approved to test more types of drones.

The new authority, also known as the “Charlie Waiver”, will allow the test site to conduct flight tests on drones of up to 300 pounds throughout their flight corridor, which stretches to Syracuse. Those tests include research and development tests, as well as crew training flights and noise testing.

The test site has been operating under the Public Aircraft Operations authority since 2013. Under that authority, the site was required to petition the FAA for special certification and an exemption for those tests.

The UAS test site is just one of seven in the United States and has conducted more than 5,000 test flights over the past decade and has also collaborated on multiple projects with the FAA and NASA.