SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - A former top FAA drone official is just starting his new role heading up Central New York's unmanned aircraft program.

Major General Marke "Hoot" Gibson, formerly Senior Advisor on Unmanned Aircraft System Integration at the FAA, is the new CEO of NUAIR.

At the FAA, Gibson worked closely with NUAIR which operates one of six FAA approved drone test sites in the United States.

Marke "Hoot" Gibson, NUAIR CEO says, "I've gone back to a lot of friends back in DC and said this is a great operation with a lot of talent."

He says this is an exciting time to join NUAIR which has just submitted its lead applicant for the prestigious White House Integration Pilot Program for the drone industry.

"The White House and others are really behind this to push the boundaries a little bit, time to take some informed risk." Gibson tells NewsChannel 9.

NUAIR's outgoing interim President Larry Brinker says, "So much of the ability of the industry to grow is based on public policy. If we're aligned with the White House we know what the public policy is going to be because we're going to be part of making that."

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