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Gov. Cuomo Announces Completion of Syracuse-Rome Drone Corridor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped in Syracuse Tuesday to anounce the completion of a 50-mile Drone Corridor between Syracuse and Rome.  But what is a Drone Corridor?

   "It's a 50-mile test area where you can test drones, one of only six or seven places in the conutry where you can do it, and we'll bring the manufacturing industry here and the tech industry here because they'll need a place to test the product, and we'll have a place where they can test it," Cuomo said.

Cuomo hopes the Drone Corridor will help revitalize the Upstate economy by encouraging companies in the $43 billion drone industry to invest in the region.  Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Howard Zemsky says the corridor has already attracted several drone companies to Upstate New York.

"You have a number of amazing companies, both new venture/early stage but also international companies in the UAS base that are clustering together, which is how economic development happens, this cluster of technology."

Cuomo also announced the state’s commitment to invest up to $12.5 million to add two new floors to the Syracuse Tech Garden business incubator downtown. He says this will help attract tech innovators to Central New York.

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
Gov. Andrew Cuomo flies a tethered drone along side Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, and Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Howard Zemsky.

   "These entreprenuers need to have a place that nurtures them, where they can set up shop and work with Syracuse University and the other academic universities to keep that talent there. You take the academic ideas, and then you commercialize them into start-up businesses, that was Stanford and Silicon Valley," Cuomo said.

Cuomo envisions a relationship with Syracuse University and other colleges in Upstate New York to foster talent and ideas that will feed the growing tech industry.

This comes after Microsoft announced it would open a 'smart cities' hub in Syracuse, the third in the country, as part of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh's 'Syracuse Surge' economic plan. The hub will drive tech start-ups and facilitate workforce training.  See our previous coverage here and here.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at