New NUAIR CEO sees great opportunities for CNY drone sector

Local News

A former top FAA drone official is just starting his new role heading up Central New York’s unmanned aircraft program.

Major General Marke “Hoot” Gibson, formerly Senior Advisor on Unmanned Aircraft System Integration at the FAA, is the new CEO of NUAIR.

At the FAA, Gibson worked closely with NUAIR which operates one of six FAA approved drone test sites in the United States. 

Marke “Hoot” Gibson, NUAIR CEO says, “I’ve gone back to a lot of friends back in DC and said this is a great operation with a lot of talent.”

He says this is an exciting time to join NUAIR which has just submitted its lead applicant for the prestigious White House Integration Pilot Program for the drone industry.

“The White House and others are really behind this to push the boundaries a little bit, time to take some informed risk.” Gibson tells NewsChannel 9.

NUAIR’s outgoing interim President Larry Brinker says, “So much of the ability of the industry to grow is based on what’s the public policy going to be and and if we’re aligned with the White House we know what the public policy is going to be because we’re going to be part of making that.”

NUAIR is also on the verge right now of picking who is going to build that test corridor from Griffiss Airport in Rome all the way to Syracuse.

Companies can use the corridor to test fly their drones beyond the visual line of sight, which is the law right now.

“Once the corridor is fully built out we’ll be the only place in the world where you can come fly from Griffiss to Hancock totally beyond visual line of sight, monitored by the infrastructure we have in place.”  Brinker says.

As Brinker transitions to this new role as General Counsel, NUAIR and its partners, including CenterState CEO, wanted to formally recognize the lasting impact he’s made by contributing $10,000 to endow a “Larry Brinker, NUAIR Alliance UAS Scholarship.”

The first scholarship will be awarded in the spring of 2018.

It is open to all full time students, including graduating high school students, adult students, and students already attending, or applying to attend the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Program at Mohawk Valley Community College.

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