Upstate Medical University completed a key test flight for its drone program that advances the
university’s goal of transporting time-sensitive materials, drugs and lab samples by drone throughout
the region.

Air Upstate, the university’s drone program, flew its first beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight from
the pilot at Oneida County’s FAA-Designated New York Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Test Site at the
Griffiss International Airport in Rome, N.Y., to New York’s Homeland Security Training Center in
Oriskany, N.Y. on May 22. The 18.6-mile round-trip flight took 18 minutes and 20 seconds.
The flight was supported by AX Enterprize, Oneida County UAS Test Site, Causey Aviation Unmanned,
Crown Consulting, and RigiTech, a leading innovator in drone technology. An Eiger drone by RigiTech
was used for the flight.

The BVLOS flight advances Upstate’s drone program’s goal of providing on-demand transport capability
for the efficient, timely, and safe transport of time-sensitive materials, drugs, blood products, and lab

“There are many practical and financially sound applications for drones, but the most crucial for Upstate
is the ability to expedite care for our most vulnerable patients,” said Mark Zeman, Upstate’s chief
information officer. “Our autonomous machines department has ambitious goals, and thanks to the
dedication and leadership of our team and partners, who made this BVLOS flight possible, we’ve
achieved a significant advancement in health care using unmanned drones.

Zeman noted that drones will address the size and rural nature of the region served by Upstate by
overcoming significant transport challenges in providing timely and quality care throughout the region.
“Our primary motivation for this technology is its use to enhance the patient experience, especially for
those in our surrounding communities,” he said.

“Causey Aviation Unmanned (CAU) is excited to work with Upstate to serve their patients in new ways.
We appreciate Upstate’s commitment to innovation and leadership in healthcare,” said Jeff Causey,
CEO. CAU is one of the first five UAS Air Carriers certified by the FAA.

The partnership with the NY UAS Test Site exemplifies Air Upstate’s focus on understanding and
experiencing flying in airspace that includes manned aircraft using cutting-edge UAS Traffic
Management (UTM) tools that provide the Air Domain Awareness for the safe separation between their
drone(s) and manned aircraft.

The NY UAS Test Site is one of seven FAA-designated UAS test sites. It is the only test site at a towered
airport, surrounded by Class D airspace with an FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization with the
ability to execute simultaneous manned and unmanned operations.
The NY UAS Test Site and its UTM capabilities are managed and operated by AX Enterprize (AX), a UAScentric technology team.

“AX is excited and honored to partner with Air Upstate’s drone delivery program and support its flight
operations with advanced UTM tools that will support the safe integration of their drone delivery
platform into the National Airspace System (NAS),” said AX co-owner MC Chruscicki.
Air Upstate, AX, and its partners will work with the FAA to build the safety case to enable daily BVLOS

“This significant accomplishment paves the way for everyday healthcare drone delivery to clinics and
underserved communities in a more timely and reliable manner,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony
J. Picente Jr. “Upstate Medical University’s Air Upstate drone program is a recognized leader in
healthcare drone delivery and Oneida County is happy to partner with them to advance the capabilities
of the industry.”

Below is the full press release: