The drone aircraft based at Fort Drum have been authorized to travel over parts of Onondaga, Madison and Oswego counties, the head of the Air National Guard unit that operates the drones announced Monday.
Colonel Greg Semmel of the 174th Attack Wing, based in suburban Syracuse, said the added airspace means fewer missions will be scrubbed or delayed because of weather, WSTM TV reported.
The tv station also reports there's a move to have the drones fly in and out of a Syracuse airfield instead of Fort Drum within a year. The 174th Attack Wing flies two training missions a day.
The 174th is part of the nation's growing drone warfare capability, and has attracted critics in central New York. One of them, Ed Kinane of "Upstate Drone Action," called the expanded flying area adding "to the surveillance state."
Semmel said the drones will not be used for law enforcement, to spy on people and their homes and - as has been the policy - they won't carry live ammunition.
- from a report by WSTM
Wednesday, August 5, 2015, Watertown, NY