Oneida Indian Nation to use drones for land management

Sep 20, 2019

The Oneida Indian Nation is going to introduce drone technology to better protect and manage their land and environmental resources.

To launch this new effort, the Oneida Indian Nation is teaming up with NUAIR, a nonprofit coalition of private and public organizations overseeing drone testing in central New York. The plan is for NUAIR to use its expertise in the field to assist the Oneida Indian Nation in collecting and assessing data about its property.

Tony Basile, COO of NUAIR, says drones will allow the Oneida Indian Nation to reach more of its land and in a more efficient manner.

"When you’re looking down on something rather than at ground level, you certainly get to see more of what’s going on and they also have parcels that are difficult for them to access due to marsh land, thickly wooded areas, that sort of thing," Basile said. "So, viewing it from above it gives them perspective that they aren’t currently able to see with the ranger on foot or in a four wheeler."

Basile says the partnership is mutually beneficial. NUAIR is one of only a few sites in the country currently conducing unmanned aircraft research for the Federal Aviation Administration. This new project will provide the coalition with flight data that will aid its efforts to find the best way to integrate drones safely into the national airspace.