Commercial UAV Expo content at Amsterdam Drone Week  

September 3-5, 2024  •  Caesars Forum  •  Las Vegas

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Advanced Airspace Summit

Bridging the Gap - Advanced Airspace Summit at Commercial UAV Expo

There is currently a large gap between crewed and uncrewed aviation. That gap has cultivated a sense of mistrust across technologies and industries, but it’s one that extends to the general public as well. This Commercial UAV Expo Summit will discuss where the industry is today, how the technology will evolve over the next decade to bridge this gap, what regulatory changes will likely be necessary, and what challenges the industry will face related to passenger expectations and public acceptance. Industry stakeholders will talk through and answer these questions:

NOTE: Access to the Advanced Airspace Summit is included with all Full Conference and Exhibitor Full Conference registrations. To register for the conference or upgrade your current registration, click here!

September 6, 2023 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM | Room 301

Drones are a key part to sustainable aviation goal and in understanding future airspace but what does it mean for the sUAS community to work with other airspace stakeholders to ensure the sky is open, safe and available to all? What will the skies of tomorrow look like? What are some of the current technologies being utilized to increase safety and autonomy? Other topics that will be touched on to set a primer for the rest of the summit include:

Through the current implementation of new aviation technology, there is an opportunity to integrate crewed and uncrewed aircraft within the same airspace and even at the same airports. The state of North Dakota is embracing the advancement of UAS technology and what it can offer the aviation industry more broadly. Others are deploying drones in emergency situations that can require navigating a complex airspace where the drone could encounter air traffic from police helicopters, general aviation aircraft, and recreational drones.

What will it mean to change operational realities that currently exist for each? How can the industry move towards more effective and efficient airspace deconfliction methods that keep BVLOS missions safe? And what will be the best way to convey the evolution of certain expectations to the general public? A panel of experts will discuss these issues and the details associated with:

  • innovations that are designed to be commercial drone enablers while also ensuring everyone can use the same airspace in a safe manner
  • some of the most notable challenges and opportunities that currently exist 
  • the different approaches DFR programs are implementing to achieve BVLOS today
  • what enabling technologies are available
  • what regulatory pathways are in place
  •  how will stakeholders to collaborate on the future of UAS integration 

This session will explore in depth the concept of UAM/drone corridors from initial and midterm operations. Panelists will discuss…

  • how will UAM corridors benefit the evolution of UAM operations
  • why weather forecasting is imperative to the success of corridor usage
  • what the concept of Cooperative Operating Practices means for stakeholders
  • Initial, Midterm and Mature operating environments 
  • what the corridor system will look like in the next 12 months 

Attendees will get a sense of the most prominent use cases with those currently using and planning for corridor development, defining a way forward for anyone who is or will be working in these ecosystems.

Panel Moderated by Toni Drummond, Titan Aviation.

Speakers include Eileen Lockhart, Spright; Erin Roesler, Northern Plains UAS Test Site; Jon Damush, Iris Automation; Anuja Verma, Abigail Smith, FAA.

As we move forward with distinct urban and regional air mobility models, understanding what it means to safely share the air is imperative. The FAA has laid out a concept of operations for Urban Air Mobility and how it will affect all UAS in the future, but what will it mean to properly set up and enable scale for future flight departments? 

This session will explore in depth the concept of UAM/drone corridors from initial and midterm operations. Panelists will discuss…

  • how will UAM corridors benefit the evolution of UAM operations
  • why weather forecasting is imperative to the success of corridor usage
  • what the concept of Cooperative Operating Practices means for stakeholders
  • Initial, Midterm and Mature operating environments 
  • what the corridor system will look like in the next 12 months
 

Attendees will get a sense of the most prominent use cases with those currently using and planning for corridor development, defining a way forward for anyone who is or will be working in these ecosystems.

Panel moderated by Sarasina Tuchen, USDOT’s Highly Automated Systems Safety Center of Excellence (HASS COE)

Panelists include Frank McIntosh, FAA and James Grimsley. More panelists to be announced!

September 6, 2023 | 4:00 - 5:30 PM | Room 301

Private and Government investments are coming to develop AAM infrastructure to support eVTOLs capable of transporting cargo and people. Ken Stewart, CEO of NUAIR, and Jason Terreri, Executive Director at the Syracuse International Airport, will discuss what New York is doing now and the importance of AAM infrastructure planning and development to prepare for the future of aviation. Items include the electrification of airports, physical and digital infrastructure, concept of operations development and more. Future AAM operations will be vital in supporting the national economy, supporting vital supply chains, reducing congestion, reducing carbon emissions and more.

Barriers with regulation are often cited as the biggest obstacle when it comes to enabling UAM & UAS operations. However, with the right planning and understanding, stakeholders can navigate the current ecosystem to set themselves up for success in the present and future. 

The details associated with that understanding are critical to understand though. What is the current state of current Part 107? Will Part 108 change things for certain stakeholders? How can someone work within the regulatory framework of today that will still make sense as the technology and standards change? Panelists will answer these questions while also fully detailing… 

  • which Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) define the CFR’s (Regulations the Code of Federal Regulations governing flight) that most affect your operations 
  • the specifics of FAR CFR Part 135 and how this regulatory standing will play a part in any operations where you are moving passengers or goods for compensation. 
  • How will FAR CFR Part 108 apply to the future of UAS?
  • Will FAR CFR Part 91 apply to AAM operations?
  • What waivers and COA’s are currently being used to enact regulatory compliance within our current UAS framework.

The future airspace that sees UAM ecosystems synchronized with UAS operations and crewed aircraft can only be enabled with a better understanding of what’s possible today. Attendees will come away with specific insights into how to safely and effectively move past regulatory challenges today in a way that opens up further opportunities for them in the future.

Panel moderated by Toni Drummond, Titan Aviation. Speakers include: Charlton Evans, End State Solutions LLC; Don Berchoff, TruWeather Solutions; Eileen Lockhart, Spright; Kristen Costello, DroneUp; Jon Hanlon, Zipline.

The framework that is needed to empower UAS businesses to scale and provide the sustainable alternatives to communities is still being defined, but essential pieces of this framework do exist. OEMs and their manufacturing partners are creating many of these pieces, but what does it mean to put them together in a way that enables safety and scale for operations and stakeholders? How will these aircraft operate everywhere from airports to parking lots? Will this framework come together in pieces or in a more holistic manner? 

This panel will bring together stakeholders that are currently working on this framework to define how things are currently coming together and how others can partner and work with them to see it enabled more quickly. Panelists will discuss…

  • What actions and programs are being implemented to further public acceptance for both drones and eVTOL vehicles alike. 
  • How are state and local governments progressing as they look to the future. 
  • What is the timeframe in which we will begin air taxi services and how will that affect the future operational tempo. 
  • What developments in concepts of operations (ConOps) and workforce development that will affect the industry.

 

Attendees will get a sense of how OEMs and essential partners are responding to market demands while also cultivating a sense of trust in the airspace on the part of operators, stakeholders and the general public. That sense of trust is an essential element of the airspace of the present and future.

Panel moderated by Dawn Zoldi, P3 Tech Consulting. Panelist include Jon Damush, Iris Automation; Ed De Reyes, Saberwing Aircraft Company, Inc; and Josh Olds, USI

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