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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Air National Guard Wants To Fly Reaper Drones From Syracuse Airport

MQ-9 ReaperThe Air National Guard wants to fly remotely piloted aircrafts out of Hancock Field at the Syracuse International Airport. The change would save time and money, as the National Guard has to send its aircrafts to fly from Fort Drum because of airspace restrictions.

Speaking at at an unmanned aircraft system conference at the Turning Stone Resort last week, Col. Mike Smith, assistant vice commander of the Hancock Field Air National Guard, said they want to start flying MQ-9 Reapers out of the Syracuse International Airport for flight training.

The Air National Guard cannot launch these aircrafts from Hancock Field right now, because the planes would have to go through civilian airspace. But they are in talks with the F.A.A. to get that changed. Smith said they currently have to send flight and maintenance crews on a daily basis from Syracuse to Fort Drum to launch aircrafts.

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