Sinclair to host drone summit

Sinclair Community College and Ohio State University will launch the first Unmanned Aerial Systems Academic Summit in August, officials said.

Experts in research and development, training, commercialization and technology transfer will be at the one-day conference Aug. 24 at Sinclair’s downtown Dayton campus, officials said.

Sinclair is in the midst of a $5 million renovation of a downtown Dayton campus building for the National UAS Training and Certification Center. Conference attendees will tour the facility and an indoor flight range, officials said.

“With the progress the Federal Aviation Administration has made in relation to UAS integration and the advances we’re seeing throughout the industry, we felt this was the perfect time to bring together academic leaders from across the country to share their research and ideas on the future of UAS,” Deborah Norris, Sinclair vice president of workforce development and corporate services, said in a statement.

The FAA is in the midst of drafting rules to fly small drones weighing less than 55 pounds within civilian airspace. The federal agency has given waivers to some businesses to fly Unmanned aerial vehicles while the rules are pending.

“The proliferation of UAS is happening at an increasingly remarkable pace and as such it is vital for the academic community to keep up the pace of UAS research, as well as be on the forefront of educating the upcoming UAS associated workforce,” Seth Young, director of Ohio State’s Center for Aviation Studies said in a statement. “This summit is intended to keep our community on that leading edge in the advancement of UAS.”

An Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International study has estimated integrating UAVs into civilian airspace could create 2,700 jobs and have a $2.1 billion impact in Ohio by 2025. Nationwide, the study estimated 100,000 jobs and an $82 billion economic impact over the same time.