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Oswego County joins drone corridor project

Don McCullough
via Flickr

Oswego County's airport will become part of the 50-mile drone corridor project that developers are building in central New York to test the unmanned aerial vehicles.

Shane Broadwell, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature, made the announcement during his first state of the county address Wednesday.

"New York state is leading the nation in this field, and we are excited to be a part of it," Broadwell said. 

The news comes as the county prepares to build a new airport terminal, which New York state is helping finance with a $1,080,000 grant. Dave Turner, director of Oswego County's Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, says that is just the latest investment the county has made in its airport that may have been responsible for this development.

"The progress that we’ve made over the last 20 years in positioning ourselves – lengthening the airway, we’ve made some changes that were really simple things like removing trees on off-airport property so that the glide path coming in is now longer and better, not as steep as it was before – all of those things that have been improving the airport over the last 10, 20 years – we were well positioned to talk to NUAIR," Turner said. 

According to Turner, NUAIR officials expressed interest in Oswego County because of its rural setting and the nonprofit's ability to test smaller drones away from the bigger models at the Griffiss International Airport in Rome and Hancock International Airport in Syracuse.

Turner says Oswego County officials will consult with NUAIR about their needs for the project as they begin to craft designs for the new terminal. It's expected to be completed next year.