Affiliations & Connections Established

We’ve met with the area’s drone authorities – agencies, officials, educators, manufacturers, 107 certified pilots, clubs & enthusiasts to help organize the growth of STEM-focused competitions, host a regional social media information hub & share opportunities in our region.  Our community ties continue to expand throughout New York State thanks to sponsorships & partnership projects.


NY/NJ AMA Region II Affiliate for US Drone Soccer

CNY Drones joined established a key connection with US Drone Soccer in October 2021, signing on as the NY/NJ AMA Region II Affiliate.  With the help of the Air Force Research Lab in Rome & our sister organization, SUNY Polytechnic Institute AMA UMASC, we set out to make our area a technical & league support hub, tying into & sharing drone technology educational and employment opportunities.  Drone soccer checks all the boxes as a combined STEM & esports program.  

“Exciting, fast-paced action is supported by technical skills that build a solid foundation for entry into the drone technology education & employment pipeline.”


Establishment of a Mentorship Network & Year-Round Drone Events

CNY Drones leads the way by hosting a year-round support system with area mentors & events to help drive STEM interest in an area that directly supplies a growing higher education & employment pipeline.  Our volunteer Planning Committee consists of our key mentors.  They represent various facets of our drone community.  Most are FAA Certified Drone Pilots & members of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.    

Our mentors are willing to help beyond any program.  Questions are funneled to available volunteers through our website Contact Form & Gmail account. We respond to most questions within 24 hours.

The Northeast’s First Open, STEM-Focused, Indoor Team Drone Challenge

The inaugural presentation of Rig Rescue took place on April 15, 2018 in the College Center Gym at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.   The Challenge is hosted by sister AMA organization & student club – the SUNY AMA University Model Aviation Student Club and is run by a collaboration of SUNY engineering student clubs – Fabrication, Baja, & 3d Printing & Design.  The challenge is mapped out several seasons in advance as a low-cost option for educators to inject competition into their curricula.   For 2019, the Challenge was FOREST FURY.   For the first time, a two-field competition was held in the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Wildcat Field House.  2020 FARM-i-GEDDON, ran as a full season without a championship.  Originally set for April 5, 2020, the competition was postponed..   METRO MELTDOWN and CONSTRUCTION CATASTROPHE plans remain on-hold.

1st AMA MASC in New York State  & Encouraging New Clubs!

We established the 1st Academy of Model Aeronautics Model Aviation Student Club in New York State in 2017.   Our MASC affiliation allows us to run drone events with insurance, safety information & a great AMA support system.  Once established, we started helping schools & other drone groups so they could gain the benefits of AMA affiliation under this new club system.  Interested in learning more about CNY Drones safety measures during our events?  Ask John Reade, CNY Drones Safety Officer.

SUNY AMA UMASC Collaboration                    

  • We are happy to have helped establish & now be work with New York State’s 1st University Model Aviation Student Club!  The SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s former RC Student Club is officially an Academy of Model Aeronautics University Model Aviation Student Club – AMA UMASC #15104.

How CNY Drones works along side SUNY AMA (our sister AMA organization on campus):

  • promoting flight safety under the AMA guidelines
  • event planning & event hosting experience
  • fundraising & providing fundraising opportunities through our community connections
  • community service experience – both local & Statewide
  • mentoring experience – working with students & adults
  • connection to local engineers & valuable company contacts
  • connection to local high school students considering STEM fields
  • introducing younger students & families to the college campus

SUNY AMA Club Advisor is  Bob Payne.   Bob is an Adjunct Instructor in the SUNY Poly Mechanical Technology Department, SUNY Fabrication Club Advisor, a SUNY Alumnus & CNY Drones Volunteer & Event Coordinator.

Annual Drone Info Day 

In October 2016, we established our area’s gathering of all-things-drone-related to connect students with drone technology education & employment opportunities and to kick-off the build season for our Annual Team Drone Challenge.   Our event was the first of it’s kind in our region.

In 2017 we met at the Utica Parkway Recreation Center thanks to the great people in the Parks & Recreation Department.

For 2018, we met at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, hub location for our Team Drone Challenge.

For 2019, our event moved to an online format.

Self-Supporting Single Day Programs

Our Build, Fly & Take Home Workshop (4-6 hrs), Experience FPV session (2 hrs – flying with our equipment), & Interactive Drone Demonstrations (1 hr) give participants a choice of how much they wish to invest in their curiosity about drones.  Our fees are set to cover the cost of each presentation, keep mentor to participant ratios low, & offer an affordable introduction to drone technology.  Programs have introduced dozens of students & adults to drone technology.  Ask us about our former students who have since formed drone tech clubs, taken additional tech classes, participated in our Team Drone Challenge, & become mentors!

Connecting High Schools with MVCC to Offer UAS College Credit 

Our contacts with regional high schools has helped connect students to the MVCC UAS program as well as high schools looking to offer students college credit in drone technology.   We’ll help you network!

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