Date: Dec 3 2019
Subject: RME SYR UAV corridor
Jack, (cc Jeb, Dave, Eric)
Just listening to UCAP489, the segment on the drone corridor between KRME and KSYR: http://uncontrolledairspace.com/shownotes/index.php?s=UCAP489 minute 33 to minute 47.
Since Syracuse is my home base, I though I should comment. I am also cc-ing Eric H (you met him at the last Nashua fly-in, he flew with me in the TB20). He actually works as UAS pilot with NUAIR in Rome, so he will have more details on the corridor that I do.
1) At SYR we have been sharing the pattern with UAVs for a while now: the 174th Attack Wing is based in Syracuse and flies MQ-9 Reapers. Really no big deal: you see-and-avoid them as usual, ATC keeps them apart from you… no different than IFR. The only operational difference is that you have to plan for a longer runway occupation time for the MQ-9 after landing, as the whole control-hand-off from flight to taxi takes longer than a GA aircraft taxiing off the runway.
2) The point of the corridor is to allow BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight) flights. All that changes is that instead of a visual observer providing a warning of a possible aircraft conflict, that waring is done via other means. I believe the corridor will be equipped with a special radar designed to track the often smaller UAVs, but I will let Eric comment on that. For that reason I am not sure the corridor will ever be charted on the sectionals.
3) All the UAV activity in the area really hasn’t impacted GA in the area at all, simply because the usual see-and-avoid is replaced by other equivalent (or better) methods for avoidance for other aircraft.
Don’t hesitate to ask if you have further questions - happy to help spread the information to more of the GA pilot population.