New York will be a drone research site

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The Federal Aviation Administration says it wants to see drones sharing domestic airspace with commercial flights by 2015. And the FAA has designated six research sites around the country to help reach that goal, including one in New York.

According to an article in USA Today, the sites will work on different aspects of drone use. Griffiss International Airport near Utica will be charged with determining how drones and passenger aircraft can avoid collisions, especially in the Northeast’s congested airspace. The FAA received 25 applications for the work, which is supposed to create 100,000 jobs and infuse the economy with $82 billion.

This is not New York State’s first experience with drones. Many antiwar protesters, including some from Rochester, have been arrested and charged with trespassing and similar offenses at the National Guard base outside Syracuse. The base is used to pilot drone attacks in the US war against terrorists.

But the protesters say that the drones often kill and injure civilians, and that the attacks have fueled anti-US sentiment through large swaths of Muslim countries. And they say the operations base near Syracuse makes the Finger Lakes region vulnerable to reciprocal terrorist attacks.

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