Virginia Festival features UAS Technology Demonstration featuring DroneUp, ATA, Ecodyne, and DOAV.

Winchester, Virginia, April 30, 2022 — The Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at VIPC, and a coalition of public and private sector leaders from DroneUp, ATA, Ecodyne, and the City of Winchester conducted a demonstration “Fly-In” during the 95th annual Apple Blossom Festival.

Featured in the demonstration was the Commonwealth’s Virginia Flight Information Exchange platform (VA FIX) which integrates environmental sensors, weather sensors, data feeds, operations platforms, and surveillance technologies through a public platform for safe, effective simultaneous operations of UAS systems from public safety agencies, commercial operators, and hobbyists. This demonstration marks the first time this type of simultaneous integration and operation of UAS systems has happened in the United States.

“The Apple Blossom Fly-In is a demonstration of the Virginia Department of Aviation’s commitment to both affordable and accessible public services that support Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and the UAS industry,” said Greg Campbell, Director of the Virginia Department of Aviation. By conducting “high” density, multi-operator operations safely in proximity using public information sharing, the team is leveraging a public event to foster public dialogue, awareness, and support for a growing industry that is creating 21st-century economic development, jobs and opportunities in Virginia. As a result of this exercise, the community of Winchester has gained a “leave behind” infrastructure making it one of the first “Drone Ready” communities in America.

The participants in the event included: The City of Winchester provided the configuration of the ground, weather, and environmental sensor data and Winchester Regional Airport provided data on the locations of manned aircraft. Echodyne provided radar data on drone positions and Aloft provided integration into B4UFLY for public and private operator awareness. DroneUp lead the commercial food delivery effort while ATA, the technology partner to DOAV for VA-FIX, is serving as the integrator while multiple private and public operators provided other flight services during the event.

“The Apple Blossom Fly-In is another example of what is possible through public, private partnerships”, said Tracy Tynan, Director of Virginias Unmanned Systems Center at VIPC. “The unmanned systems industry is growing. Winchester’s success helps us better understand what a Drone Ready Community needs to be successful as communities across the Commonwealth prepare for the future.”

About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)

Connecting innovators with opportunities. The nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia’s innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

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