Griffiss International Airport in Oneida County has been chosen by the FAA as one of six Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) testing sites in the country. “Safety continues to be our first priority as we move forward with integrating unmanned aircraft systems into U.S. airspace,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says in a statement. “We have successfully brought new technology into the nation’s aviation system for more than 50 years, and I have no doubt we will do the same with unmanned aircraft.”

The release states that "the FAA has established requirements for each test site that will help protect privacy," in case you were worried about how powerful cameras attached to unmanned aircraft (why worry though?). Technically commercial drones are illegal, but the FAA kind of has its hands full an no one else has the jurisdiction to enforce the law. 1,428 public institutions received permits to use drones in US airspace—including the State Department, law enforcement agencies, and universities—and more than 300 of those permits remain active.

The FAA's description of what will actually go down at Griffiss ("Griffissssss," the shadowy figure hissed in a plume of cigarette smoke as he dropped the manila folder to the surface of the deserted parking garage.) is obscured by bland government-speak so as to render it nearly meaningless:

Griffiss International plans to work on developing test and evaluation as well as verification and validation processes under FAA safety oversight. The applicant also plans to focus its research on sense and avoid capabilities for UAS and its sites will aid in researching the complexities of integrating UAS into the congested, northeast airspace.

"Developing test and evaluation" and promulgating efficient synergies to comply with established testing nodes. Sounds great!

All of the testing sites are located at individual airports, universities, or are pegged to specific entities, except for one: "State of Nevada."

You can read more about the FAA's UAV program here [PDF].