July 22, 2021
Commercial Drone Alliance Executive Director Lisa Ellman speaks with Michael Kratsios, the 4th Chief Technology Officer of the United States, at the Commercial UAV Expo.
The Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) made waves earlier this year with the expansion of their board members to advance aviation technology policy boundaries. That expansion has seen the CDA pursue numerous initiatives that are actively merging policy with innovation in a way that makes sense for BVLOS operations and flights over people, but a more recent update showcases how those efforts are about to be taken to the next level.
The CDA recently announced that Jon Hegranes, Founder and CEO of Aloft (formerly Kittyhawk) and Ken Stewart, President and CEO of NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance Inc.) have been appointed as two new members of the CDA board of directors. Stewart will serve as CDA’s President and Hegranes will serve as CDA’s Vice President.
We’ve connected with Hegranes to explore what it meant to enable the evolution of his company under a new name but also touched on how Aloft is committed to safety, security and compliance in relation to how drones will operate within the UTM ecosystems that will define the future of the airspace. His commitment to enabling a global UTM system is deep and extends beyond the founding of his company.
Demonstrating a similar commitment to the industry and technology, Stewart has specifically spoken about drone fleet management. What does it take to really scale these operations and integrate them into the national airspace? In his new position with the CDA, he is set to explore and answer these sorts of questions in a way that makes sense for operators and organizations of all types.
CDA’s Executive Director Lisa Ellman has cultivated relationships with drone visionaries like these throughout her career, proof of which was on display at the Commercial UAV Expo when she sat down with the 4th Chief Technology Officer of the United States Michael Kratsios. As part of this announcement, she mentioned the many different benefits that come from working with people at these levels, which includes developments related to the updates with the infrastructure for UAS Traffic Management, Remote ID, and safe and secure commercial drone operations.
This expansion is directly connected to the CDA’s endeavor to promote technologies critical to the future safety and security of the national airspace in the United States. Exactly what that will look like remains to be seen, but such efforts being driven by visionaries like Stewart and Hegranes as part of the CDA will make all the difference in the world.