Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret), chief executive officer of the NUAIR Alliance (left) signs partnership agreement with Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly (right) providing enhanced unmanned traffic management capabilities for the NY UAS Test Site 50-mile UTM Corridor currently being constructed.
The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR Alliance) and Griffiss International Airport announced today a new partnership with Unifly, a European company with a unique software application that enables unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems to visualize and manage drone traffic in the airspace. The partnership will provide enhanced unmanned traffic management capabilities for the NY UAS Test Site 50-mile UTM Corridor currently being constructed.
Unifly will establish a presence in Central New York to deploy its software platform and support traffic management testing. Working with NUAIR, Unifly will enable enhancements to test beyond visual line of site (BVLOS) systems with the ultimate goal of safely integrating UAVs into the nation’s airspace.
“This new partnership will provide the critical tools needed for beyond visual line of site testing; capabilities not found at any other test site in the nation,” said Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret), chief executive officer of the NUAIR Alliance. “It also shows that this region is able to lead the industry and attract partners from across the globe due to investments being made by New York state. We look forward to working with Unifly and deploying this industry-leading technology in coming months, and taking our capabilities to a new level.”
“Oneida County’s UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport is leading the nation in industry research and innovation,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The corridor between Rome and Syracuse continues to grow and establish the Mohawk Valley and Central New York as the epicenter for UAS development. Adding Unifly into that mix will further strengthen our position within the U.S. and throughout the world.”
This announcement builds on a $30 million investment announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to develop the 50-mile flight traffic management system between Syracuse and Griffiss International Airport in Rome to advance the burgeoning unmanned aircraft systems industry in Central New York as part of the CNY Rising initiative.
“We look forward to adding this world-class company to the team of partners leading the way in the development of the first-in-the-nation UAS corridor in Upstate New York,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "The State is making strategic investments to ensure that we remain at the forefront of a burgeoning UAS industry that is growing jobs and strengthening our economy.”
Unifly’s unique software applications facilitate UAV traffic in very-low-altitude airspace. Its innovative tools inform operators where it is safe and legal to fly and enable authorities and other aviation stakeholders to track traffic and manage airspace. It can inform users about the rules and situations, which are often complex, in a user-friendly way. It also offers validation for a given flight and location. The system parses the underlying rules and real-time information to give the operator a clear answer, and it can notify official entities about flights and allow them to take action if required.
“This partnership presents a unique opportunity to share Unifly’s proven UTM technology and experience with NUAIR,” said Marc Kegelaers, CEO of Unifly. “The safe integration of drones into the general airspace is a universal topic today. The NUAIR Operation Center is the first test site that has had the vision to include international partners in their global alliance to successfully tackle these global challenges.”
The NUAIR Alliance is an organizational partner of CenterState CEO and manages one of seven FAA designated UAS test sites in the country. The organizations are strategically aligned in their efforts to build public and private partnerships to advance leading edge UAS and UTM technologies, and create a hub for the industry that will attract investments and business development.
“This partnership enables this test corridor to take an important step forward in its capabilities, which only further establishes New York and the Mohawk Valley as a national leader in UAS testing and development,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. "We know the investments being made by the state are driving results and creating opportunities to advance the research and development of UAS technologies, which in turn is attracting new permanent businesses to the region.”