NUAIR adds two positions to help business growth, advance the region’s drone corridor

A NUAIR drone on the ground at the test site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome. (Photo credit: NUAIR)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — NUAIR has added two new positions to pursue business growth and advancement of New York’s 50-mile drone corridor between Syracuse and Rome.

NUAIR has hired John Gustafson as its director of corridor operations and Melinda Marion as its director of business development.

Gustafson and Marion will help keep NUAIR at the forefront of the industry, the organization contends, and enable NUAIR to help more companies integrate drones into their daily operations.

NUAIR is a Syracuse–based nonprofit organization that provides expertise in unmanned aircraft systems. It manages New York’s 50-mile UAS corridor and is working on advancing 5G innovation in unmanned-aircraft systems (UAS).

The UAS industry “continues to flourish” in Central New York “as more companies realize the economic value” of commercial drone operations, NUAIR contends. A UAS includes a drone and equipment used to control its flight. A drone is also referred to in the industry as an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV.

“NUAIR continues to grow at a rapid pace, and I am pleased to welcome John and Melinda to the team,” Ken Stewart, CEO of NUAIR, said. “John is focusing on key advancements and integrations into the corridor, which will enhance our capabilities and lead to a wider range of commercial drone operations. I’ve worked with Melinda on multiple other projects while she was with the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium (MUASC) and I’m excited to be working with her on a daily basis to move NUAIR forward and advance the industry.”

NUAIR says it’s working to advance the technologies and capabilities of New York’s 50-mile drone corridor, which includes the integration of 5G and cross-communication technologies needed for safe, commercial drone operations.

About the new hires

John Gustafson started his career in manned aviation as a flight instructor, NUAIR said. For the last 11 years, his involvement in the UAS industry has “touched on many different verticals and has created and led various UAS integration programs,” per the release.

The safe integration of UAS into the national airspace has been a “key focus” for Gustafson, and as NUAIR’s director of corridor operations he will focus on making New York’s 50-mile drone corridor operational.

Marion has worked in the aviation and UAS industries for more than 20 years, supporting the development, funding, and deployment of emerging technologies.

She was previously the director of business development and flight support for MUASC and continues to serve as a technical commercial representative to Michigan’s UAS task force. As the director of business development, Marion will focus on strategic company objectives to keep NUAIR “at the forefront” of UAS and advanced air mobility (AAM) development and integration, per the release.



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