CAPE MAY COUNTY, N.J., Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two central figures in efforts to integrate commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – or "drones" – into the national air space will discuss their latest activities at an Oct. 29-30 Symposium hosted by the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) and Cape May County.
Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Chair of the Aviation Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, will provide the Symposium's keynote address. Congressman LoBiondo has supported steps to ensure that the United States is competitive in the UAS market, forecast by some to have a domestic economic impact of more than $80 billion and to create over 100,000 jobs in the decade after full implementation of comprehensive commercial drone rules.
Another featured speaker will be Marke "Hoot" Gibson, who was sworn in last week as the Federal Aviation Administration's Senior Advisor on UAS Integration. In his new role, Gibson focuses on external outreach and education, inter-agency initiatives and an enterprise-level approach to FAA management of UAS integration efforts.
The area's first UAS Symposium is the latest reflection of energetic involvement by the DRBA and Cape May County in leading-edge UAS developments. "UAS technology is an exciting, emerging technology with fantastic possibilities," said Cape May County Freeholder Will Morey, who also is an experienced commercial rated pilot and certified flight instructor. "By hosting this event with our colleagues at the DRBA, we hope to further build Cape May County's reputation as a key center for UAS research and innovation."
"The Cape May County Airport is uniquely suited for UAS research," added Scott Green, Executive Director of the DRBA. "It's surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay, where testing will be done to determine how to safely integrate UAS craft into national air space."
Green noted that the Airport has hosted all UAS flight testing campaigns launched at a public airport in New Jersey. "The airport also boasts an industrial park where properties may be developed on a CAFRA-exempt basis by companies who want to locate near a UAS testing site," he said.
The two day Symposium will kick off at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, with exhibits, small UAS demonstrations and networking opportunities with key industry professionals, at the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal facilities in Lower Township. Thursday evening, at a reception and dinner in the Ferry's popular Sunset Lounge, participants will be asked to present "60 second bios" describing their companies' UAS efforts to their colleagues. Ticketing for the Thursday evening event is limited.
On Friday, Oct. 30, activities shift a few miles north to the Naval Air Station Wildwood Museum's Historic Hangar at the Cape May County Airport. Against a backdrop of World War II and other antique aircraft, participants will hear LoBiondo and Gibson, and again have opportunities to network and view exhibits and small UAS demonstrations. Friday also will include lively panel discussions in which industry leaders will focus on the current regulatory environment and legal setting; New Jersey's role in UAS testing; emerging uses in UAS technology; evolution of a UAS workforce; and business challenges facing UAS companies.
Along with LoBiondo and Gibson, confirmed speakers and presenters include Dr. Mark Contarino of EES; Brigadier General (ret.) William Marshall of NJIT; Rose Mooney, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP); Dr. Nancy Hudanich, Superintendent of Cape May County Technical School District; Steve Iaquinto of Sunhillo Corp.; Dan Murray of US2; Joseph M. Sheairs, Sr., Director of the Stockton Aviation Research & Technology Park; Eric Smith, Esq., aviation attorney with Kaplan, Kirsch & Rockwell; and David Yoel, founder and CEO of American Aerospace Technologies, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation with a satellite office at the Cape May County Airport.
For registration and Symposium details, visit www.UASkwwd.com.
About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities. For more information, visit www.drba.net.
SOURCE Delaware River and Bay Authority