An established leader in aeronautical research and drone operations, NUAIR will collaborate with the Oneida Indian Nation to develop an environmental protection program on Nation lands.

Oneida Indian Nation Indian Homelands (August 15, 2019)—The Oneida Indian Nation announced today its partnership with Syracuse-based nonprofit NUAIR to further enhance the Nation’s ability to monitor, observe, manage and protect its lands and environmental resources via drone technology.

NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research) is a coalition of private and public entities and academic institutions that provides expertise in the operation and management of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly known as drones.

By utilizing NUAIR’s cutting-edge drone and related technology and expertise, the Nation will have the ability to collect and assess data about its lands and environmental resources, particularly from isolated or hard-to-reach areas. This technology will further help the Nation to implement and enforce programs geared toward protecting these resources.

NUAIR’s aviation professionals will partner with the Nation to build the drone program, specifically on strategic planning, evaluation and continued monitoring. They will also lend their expertise in the training and certification of Nation staff to independently operate the drones.

This partnership was made possible through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indian Environmental General Assistance Program, which the Nation secured in 2018 as a four-year capacity-building project. The Nation selected NUAIR after a competitive, request-for-proposals (RFP) process. As a recognized leader in the field, NUAIR’s operations and expertise are on track to help position Central New York as a global center for unmanned aircraft systems and commercial aviation.

“The Oneida Indian Nation is fundamentally committed to environmental protection,” says Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter. “Our partnership with NUAIR on this exciting new project will enable the Nation to not only continue but enhance our stewardship of the environment, and to ensure its preservation now and for future generations.”

“Going from a pickup truck surveying the land from the ground, to being able to deploy a drone and get a more complete aerial view of their land will significantly assist the Oneida Indian Nation’s environmental conservation efforts,” said Mike Hertzendorf, CEO of NUAIR. “NUAIR, in collaboration with AX Enterprize, Measure and SkyOp, will assist the Nation in developing procedures for safe and effective flights, on-site flight training, Part 107 pilot training, product purchase advisement and more over the next four years.”


About the Oneida Indian Nation

The Oneida Indian Nation is a federally recognized Indian nation in Central New York. A founding member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Six Nations or Iroquois Confederacy), the Oneida Indian Nation sided with the Americans in the Revolutionary War and was thanked by Congress and President George Washington for its loyalty and assistance. Today, the Oneida Indian Nation consists of about 1,000 enrolled Members, most of them living in Central New York. The Oneida Indian Nation’s enterprises, which employ more than 4,750 people, include Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, Point Place Casino, Maple Leaf Markets, SāvOn Convenience stores, an RV Park and three marinas. Proceeds from these enterprises are used to rebuild the Nation’s economic base and provide essential services, including housing, health care, and education incentives and programs, to its Members.



NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research) is a New York based nonprofit coalition of private and public entities and academic institutions that provide unsurpassed expertise in aeronautical research, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations, and safety management. Headquartered in Syracuse, NY, NUAIR manages operations of the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, NY, one of just seven FAA-designated UAS test sites in the United States, which is responsible to the Federal Aviation Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration to conduct operations for UAS testing. NUAIR is a recognized leader in technology and applications development in building the case for safe UAS operations in the Nation’s airspace. Visit to learn more.