Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse lawmakers have begun weighing the economic benefits and potential uses of drones with the surveillance and privacy concerns the technology creates.

The Common Council's public safety committee held its first hearing on drones Thursday.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upstate New York has a good chance of becoming one of six federally designated drone testing sites to be named later this year, says Rep. Richard Hanna.

A coalition of research universities and defense contractors submitted a bid last month to become a testing site. It's part of the Federal Aviation Administration's work to come up with regulations for the use of drones - or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) - in domestic skies by the fall of 2015.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York state is poised to become one of the nation's leading economic beneficiaries of a burgeoning domestic drone industry, according to a new report from an industry trade group.

The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, or AUVSI, says domestic drones will rise to become a $13.6 billion national industry in the three years following the permitted use of drones in American airspace, which is scheduled to begin in late 2015.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A coalition of upstate New York universities and defense contractors has submitted a bid to become a federally designated testing and research site for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, into domestic airspace.

Last February, Congress ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with regulations for the domestic use of UAS - also known as drones - by 2015.

As part of that, the FAA will name six sites around the nation to test out drones and help draft the regulations. On Thursday, the FAA formally solicited bids to designate the sites. They were originally scheduled to be named by the end of last year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Dan Pacheco is able to steer a small drone above a group of students with just a WiFi connection and his iPad. What the drone sees is projected onto a big screen in front of them.

This is just a demonstration that Pecheco, the recently named Chair of Journalism Innovation at Syracuse University, is doing to show the potential news-gathering uses of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).