NUAIR

Ars Electronica / via Flickr

There have been 1,020 small unmanned aerial vehicle flights - what most people call drones - in Canada this year, according to the Canadian transportation officials.

That's up from 945 in 2013 and 347 in 2012, Transport Canada reported.

"In Canada, as globally, UAV is exploding," said Joe Barnsley, an aviation attorney in Winnipeg, Canada. "It’s a huge growth area."

Meanwhile, The U.S. drone industry is simmering more than exploding. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the first private drone flights over upstate New York as part of a national testing program.

The Northeast UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Airspace Integration Research Alliance, or NUAIR, has spent the better part of the year waiting for the FAA's approval to begin testing remotely piloted aircraft.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There's another $1 million in the recently passed state budget for upstate New York's new drone testing program, which means the site now has enough funding to get through at least its first year of operations.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upstate New York’s new drone testing site is closer to pulling enough money together to begin operating. It’s been awarded a state grant to cover some of its startup costs.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upstate New York’s successful bid to host one of the nation’s drone testing programs came with the promise of millions of dollars in economic benefit to the region, but money to establish and fund the site itself is still needed.

Now the consortium behind the designation is reaching out to New York state. Ryan Delaney reports.

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