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Progress made at Skydome at Griffiss

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ROME,  N.Y.- Progress is being made on the $14 million Skydome at Griffiss in Rome. 

When it's complete, it will be an inside space for unmanned aircraft systems or UAS testing.

The hangar that houses the Skydome, inside the Innovare building, was once used to work on B-52's.

It will soon come back to life as the largest indoor drone testing facility in the nation.

We got a look inside at the progress that has been made so far and got a few updates from Mary Carol Chruscicki from AXEnterprise.

She says this testing site will prove to be important both commercially and for other entities.

"Folks like Amazon, power companies and so on all want to engage with UAS because they can go where a human cannot," Chruscicki said.

The reason it must be done in this specialized facility is that the technology needs to be tested in a way that it does not interfere with what's going on outside the facility. 

"It's a shielded area with anechoic material and that is what absorbs the signals and keeps them within this box," Chruscicki said. "There's a technology that they don't want to just go out in the wild and start flying and testing."

The project is behind schedule due to supply chain issues and should now be completed this year. 

"The supply chain issues, everyone is feeling it and that has delayed the opening here," she said.

The grand opening should happen sometime after March of 2022. 

We got a look not only at the progress, inside the building, but also an inside scoop on how the research will work.

"When we do open the doors, there is going to be a netted system that is going to extend about 250 feet, by 200 feet, by 75 feet high, so now when you feel comfortable with the technology indoors, we can open the doors to the netted area, collect data,  check for safety issues and if you're good to go, then you can fly within the actual test site." 

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