drones

Scott Willis / WAER News

The Syracuse Fire department Friday demonstrated its Unmanned Aerial System operation, or drone as part of a training exercise that caps off a week-long course.  The city and the department were recently awarded a Certificate of Authorization by the FAA to use the drone as a response tool.

The drill was almost like preparing a plane for take-off…chatter could be heard on firefighter radios as the operator announced the various pre-flight actions.

Scott Willis / WAER News

History has been made at a 107-year-old apple orchard in Lafayette that teamed up with a drone technology company to help do what nature sometimes can’t.  The pilot project is apparently the first time in the U.S. and maybe even the world that apple blossoms have been pollinated by drone.

It goes without saying that agriculture is heavily dependent on the weather, and nature.  So when Beak and Skiff partner Peter Fleckenstein heard of a way to eliminate some of that uncertainty, he jumped at the chance. 

Making Movies from the Sky? State Drone Film Festival Seeks Entries

Feb 15, 2018
Chase Guttman

Central New York is quickly becoming a leading drone hub in America. Professional companies and hobbyists who have been capturing aerial views on their flights might want to consider taking their films to the next level. The second-annual New York State Fair Drone Film Festival is seeking entries for films produced with drones. Mike Massurin, the Managing Director of the film festival, says the competition added “news” to the list of categories.

Sunny Balkin / WAER News

Six finalist companies participating in the GENIUS NY program in Syracuse are receiving their share of more than $3 million dollars in investments from Empire State Development Corporation.  They’re creating new innovations at the Tech Garden to advance UAS or Unmanned Aerial Systems that supports the many applications of drones. 

Some of the innovations range from helping grow agriculture to solutions for urban planning.  Co-founders of Dropcopter Adam Fine and Mike Wench created their company to pick-up where declining bee populations left-off.

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page

The drone testing program out of Griffiss airport in Rome has an important new partner.  NASA has agreed to gather information on testing and submit it to the FAA to help shape new regulations.  Governor Andrew Cuomo paid a visit Thursday to announce the "groundbreaking" agreement.  He says it's one of many key elements to launching the first-in-the-nation 50-mile Unmanned Traffic Management Corridor between Rome and Syracuse. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

One of the winners of a business competition at the Syracuse Tech Garden is now offering Drone Pilot training that could unlock great potential in the growing industry.  Only a small part of the SkyOp course is teaching you how to fly… the bigger gain is the learning the technology’s potential.

Shoshana Stahl / WAER News

Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped by Syracuse Thursday to help wrap up a three-day convention on unmanned aviation systems, or drones, that attracted companies from across the nation and beyond.  He used the opportunity to commit $30 million  in additional funding to expand drone testing in the region.  

Cuomo made his intentions clear when he began his remarks to hundreds of attendees at the Oncenter.

"I'm here because I want you and this industry located in Central New York," Cuomo said to applause. "That doesn't just happen by chance."

Scott Willis / WAER News

A Syracuse-area peace activist feels there’s growing momentum against U.S. military drone policy following three different national media accounts within two weeks.  Central New York drone operations,  persistent local protesters, and former drone operators are all in the news.

 

Brandon Bryant is one of those former drone operators, heard here in clip from the film “Drone” describing what he felt after firing a missile at what he was led to believe were armed terrorists.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Three-time Nobel peace prize nominee Kathy Kelly and a band of supporters from Central New York began walking from Hancock air base to Niagara Falls Wednesday to protest the use of weaponized drones. 

Kelly recently returned from her 16th trip to Afghanistan, where a father and four fellow graduates of the police academy were killed by drone fire while sipping tea in a garden. 

"The wife of this young man said 'Believe me, I hope this never happens to someone from your country.' How is she going to tell this child, your father was killed by a computer."

Scott Willis / WAER News

A congressional delegation representing three key military installations across central and northern New York stopped by Hancock Air Base to make the case against potentially deep defense department budget cuts.  

  Freshman Republican Elise Stefanik represents Fort drum in the 21st district.  She says if the federal sequester budget is allowed to continue, it could have an impact on troop training…and consequences on military readiness.

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