NUAIR Alliance Proceeding with Development of Phase II of its Unmanned Traffic Management Corridor

Pilots from the NUAIR Alliance test UAS in preparation for an upcoming Technology Capability Level (TCL) flight test demonstration in conjunction with NASA and four other FAA UAS Test Sites. Photo: NUAIR Alliance.

The NUAIR Alliance announced on October 13 the opening of the evaluation and selection process of vendor(s) for the design and installation of Phase II of its Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) test corridor. The request for qualifications (RFQ) just released is the first step in the process.

The NUAIR Alliance will identify the most qualified respondents to the RFQ, who will then be asked to submit a formal proposal. The RFQ period will remain open until November 30, 2017. The RFQ can be downloaded here.

“We are actively seeking partners to help us execute the next phase of this leading BVLOS UTM research and testing corridor,” said Larry Brinker, interim president and CEO of the NUAIR Alliance. “We are looking for innovative and ambitious companies who can best advance our efforts to make Central New York and the Mohawk Valley a hub of this technology and create industry-leading solutions which will enable the safe integration of UAS platforms into the nation’s airspace.”

The BVLOS UTM Corridor is the first of its kind, and the most advanced drone testing corridor in the nation, which will enable companies to test both UAS platforms and UTM technologies in real world settings, generating data that will inform and advance commercial use of drones.

This second phase will complete the corridor which will enable testing of UAS platforms and sensors in the airspace between Rome and Syracuse. It builds on the recently launched Phase I of the corridor around Griffiss International Airport.

For more on this topic, read: “Mobile Skylight UTM System Developed to Provide Drone Security.

The UTM corridor is possible because of New York State’s commitment to the burgeoning industry.

“New York State’s strategic, multi-million dollar investment in the drone corridor through the CNY Rising initiative will ensure that the region is at the forefront of this burgeoning industry,” said, Howard Zemsky, president, CEO & commissioner of Empire State Development. “The innovative applications for UAS are limitless and will continue to have a significant impact on the Upstate economy for years to come.”

This announcement complements CNY Rising, the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating the CNY Rising plan with a significant investment in the industry locally through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. It’s anticipated that the state’s investment will incentivize private business to invest in the region’s plan as well.

“The development of Phase II of the UTM corridor will build on the successful launch of the first phase of the project, last month,” said Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO, and Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena, president of Upstate Medical University. “The combination of private and public partnerships supported by investments from the state through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative are advancing technologies that are driving attention from businesses looking to align their innovations to the progress we are making in the region. We look forward to supporting NUAIR and this next phase of development.”

Interested companies can access a copy of the RFQ at the NUAIR Alliance website and learn more about the region’s leadership role in the UAS and UTM sectors. Additional information can also be found at the New York state Contract Reporter website.