Syracuse, NY – The Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR Alliance) and Griffiss International Airport announced today a new partnership with the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium (MUASC). The organizations have signed a teaming agreement to cooperate in the development and operations of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in the Northeast. The addition of Michigan-based MUASC to NUAIR’s existing two-state alliance of New York and Massachusetts will expand the key service offering of the alliance, add new test sites capabilities, expand international connections and create synergies and joint opportunities for the benefit of all three states.
“This new partnership with MUASC builds on this alliance’s current capabilities and helps to better position the consortium for the future commercial market,” said Lawrence H. Brinker, NUAIR Alliance Executive Director and General Counsel. “This new partnership has the potential to advance the research and development of new technologies and processes. We look forward to working with MUASC and paving the way for additional test flights in the coming months.”
“The agreement between NUAIR and MUASC is founded on our mutual desire to promote and support the varied missions of the UAS industry,” said Jim Klarich, Executive Director of MUASC. “Our individual research and development strengths compliment one another’s core capabilities and provide added value and capacity to the FAA’s unmanned aerial systems goals and mandates”.
NUAIR is a New York-based non-profit coalition of more than 50 private industry, academic institutions and military assets and operations, working together to operate and manage UAS test sites in New York and Massachusetts. The Alliance is teamed with Griffiss International Airport to manage operations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designated UAS Test Site, one of six test sites in the United States selected for UAS development, testing and research, and for the development of standards for the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace. New York and Massachusetts offer premier locations for UAS testing due to the availability of airspace, weather and landscape diversity and concentration of industry and academic expertise. Both states combined have access to more than 7,000 square miles of restricted and special use airspace for a wide range of UAS testing operations.
Based in Alpena, MI, MUASC is a UAS consortium and flight test center grouping UAS manufacturers, military, academia, research centers, government agencies and private partners. Located within the largest airspace complex east of the Mississippi in excess of 20,000 square miles, 30 percent of which is over the Great Lakes, MUASC offers four test sites and a turnkey solution for UAS operations including flight testing, aerial operations, R&D, training and education, and manufacturing. Characterized by a low population density with wide, uninhabited expanses, the area is ideal for UAS research, testing and development activities.
“The addition of MUASC as a partner in our UAS efforts can only be seen as a boon to further development opportunities,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “We look forward to their drive and expertise as we continue to flesh out what this new and exciting industry will mean to Griffiss International Airport, Oneida County, New York State, Massachusetts and now the State of Michigan.”
MUASC’s partners bring unique capabilities to the NUAIR Alliance. The University of Michigan, one of the founding members of MUASC, will strengthen the R&D positioning of the alliance with its unique expertise and state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot aerospace engineering complex. The well-renowned university is at the forefront of UAS research and is celebrating the 100th year of its aerospace department. Other academic members include Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan Tech Research Institute.
“Adding MUASC as a partner to our unmanned aerial systems efforts will help develop further opportunities in this industry,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to the collective expertise of Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York benefiting economic development in all three states.”
As a test site operator, the Griffiss International Airport-NUAIR team will coordinate UAS test flights and collect and analyze data to develop safety, performance and certification standards for integrating unmanned systems into national airspace and for civilian use. Future testing will take place at various locations in New York and Massachusetts with testing facilities anchored at Griffiss International Airport and Joint Base Cape Cod, in Massachusetts.
NUAIR is led by the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO), in New York, and MassDevelopment, in Massachusetts. CenterState CEO is an organization of 2,000 companies that work together to increase business competitiveness, community prosperity, and regional growth in the 12-county CenterState New York region. MassDevelopment, the Commonwealth’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth throughout Massachusetts. says:Under the leadership of MassDevelopment and CenterState CEO, industry experts and academic institutions in both states formed NUAIR and combined assets, expertise and experience to compete for a FAAdesignated UAS testing site. Organizations partnering with Griffiss International Airport and NUAIR include Saab Sensis, SRC, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and colleges and universities include Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts institutions, Syracuse University, Clarkson University and Northeastern University, among others.
Griffiss was constructed in 1942 as a supply depot for the Army Air Forces and was home to the United State Air Force Strategic Air Command 416th Bomb Wing, flyingB-52s and KC-135s until the base closed in 1996. Today, Griffiss International Airport has become a regional economic development asset. The airport is home to the Griffiss Business and Tech Park and employs more than 6,000 military and civilian personnel. New York State has years of experience flying UAS through the 174th Air National Guard Wing and the Air Force Research Labs Information Directorate. The Griffiss UAS Test Site will build off of this experience and will establish New York State as a leader in civil and commercial UAS development and the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace.