The City of Salina will host the 2019 Unmanned Aerial System Tech Forum in the fall of 2019. The announcement was made during the 2018 conference held in Broken Arrow, Okla. The conference is the largest annual event produced by the Unmanned Arial Systems Cluster Initiative of the U.S Small Business Administration to support the growth of the UAS industry within the two states. The 2019 Conference will be the sixth UAS-focused conference in the region. Previous locations include Stillwater (twice),Oklahoma City, Wichita and this year’s site, Broken Arrow.
The local effort was coordinated by the Salina community Economic Development Organization with planning and financial support by Kansas State Polytechnic, Kansas Department of Transportation Avation, City of Salina, Saline County, Salina Airport Authority and the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce/Visit Salina.
“The UAS Cluster Initiative is delighted to bring the Tech Forum to the community of Salina, Kansas, in 2019. Kansas leads the UAS industry with the top-tier education programs, world-class research capabilities and leading edge startups. It is a great place to host the largest UAS event in the region and showcase the vibrant UAS economy deeply seeped in the state’s aerospace history” said UASCI Program Manager Amanda Radovic.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin addressed the approximately 200 attendees in Broken Arrow concerning the success of her state in attracting the UAS business to Oklahoma. Other speakers included Kansas state Rep. J.R. Claeys and Lindsey Dreiling, KDOT’s deputy director of aviation and UAS. Claeys spoke about support for the UAS industry in Kansas, while Dreiling provided an update on her agency’s UAS Integration Pilot Program offer’s. Kansas was one of 10 locations nationwide selected by the Federal Aviation Administration to work with public, tribal and private partners to assist the FAA in developing rules that would accelerate the safe integration of UAS in the National Air Space.
The 20019 Conference will take place in late August or early September. An estimated 175 visitors will take part in the two-day Forum. Individuals engaged in the design, research, development and production of materials and technologies related to the field of UAS including federal labs, universities, research institutions and others, will be invited. Local, regional and national businesses and startups will also be invited to attend the conference with the aim of targeting potential new jobs for Kansas and Oklahoma.