The Oneida Indian Nation is getting help from the organization that oversees the drone-testing range at Griffiss International Airport in Rome to monitor its land with drones, the nation announced Thursday.
Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research, a Syracuse-headquartered private, public and academic coalition, will provide planning, evaluation, monitoring, training and certification of Oneida Nation staff to operate drones, the nation said.
The Oneida Nation said it will use drones and related technology to collect data and enforce protection of its lands and environmental resources, particularly hard-to-reach areas.
“Our partnership with NUAIR on this exciting new project will enable the Nation to not only continue but enhance our stewardship of the environment, and to ensure its preservation now and for future generations,” said Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter.
NUAIR will collaborate with the companies AX Enterprize, Measure and SkyOp in tasks such as developing flight procedures, pilot training and product purchase, said NUAIR chief executive officer Mike Hertzendorf.
“Going from a pickup truck surveying the land from the ground to being able to deploy a drone and get a more complete aerial view of their land will significantly assist the Oneida Indian Nation’s environmental conservation efforts,” Hertzendorf said.
The nation received a grant through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, and selected NUAIR through a competitive request-for-proposals program.
The NUAIR-managed test site at Griffiss is part of a 50 mile unmanned traffic management corridor being developed to facilitate beyond-visual-line-of-sight testing and operations, one of seven across the country designated by the Federal Aviation Administration for developing drone services and applications.