drone pilot industry5G drone testing coming to corridor between Rome and Syracuse

October 5, 2021by helo-10

The drone corridor between Rome and Syracuse will host the first-in-the-nation 5G test network for unmanned aircraft that could one day revolutionize commercial and private drone use.

The drone corridor is the area in Central New York were drones are federally authorized to fly outside of the line of sight of the operator. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday MITRE Engenuity Open Generation 5G Consortium will bring 5G to the 50-mile drone corridor between the two Central New York cities. 

Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said there are numerous potential uses for 5G drone usage after it passes testing. This includes commercial delivery and private uses, such as bridge inspections and surveying disaster sites during emergencies in real time. 

“There are a multitude of potential uses, so this 5G corridor will become an important training area to move from a test environment to an everyday use in commercial airspace,” Izzo said. 

A recent drone delivery test within the drone corridor.

Expert thoughts 

David Tewksbury runs Hamilton College’s GIS & Tech Support for Geosciences and is a Federal Aviation Authority certified UAS Pilot. He thinks the current drone regulations — flying 400 feet above the ground and remaining in the sight of the operator — are adequate for the everyday user and is doubtful 5G technology will be incorporated for the general UAV user.

Tewksbury believes 5G will make commercial drone usage beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) safe and possible. 

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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