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UAS Cluster Initiative newsletter
  October 3, 2023

Workforce Dynamics in Oklahoma's Emerging Aerospace Industry;
Rethink Vertical Podcast with Valqari Founder & CEO Ryan Walsh;
Craig Mahaney joins NATA AAM Committe;
NATA, 2023 Aviation Business Conference


The UAS Cluster Initiative (UASCI) in Oklahoma has published a research report that provides insights into the workforce development landscape in the state's burgeoning aerospace industry. The report sheds light on the key challenges and prospects within the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry in Oklahoma, emphasizing the necessity to bridge workforce gaps. As the industry adopts aviation autonomy it can revolutionize diverse applications including transportation, healthcare, agriculture, and more, the demand for a highly skilled workforce to navigate this transformation is paramount. Based on interviews from key Oklahoma stakeholders, the report identifies challenges and recommendations for Oklahoma to establish a robust workforce support ecosystem to sustain and bolster its position as a leading hub for the UAS/AAM industry.

You can download and read this report at this link Charting the Course: Workforce Dynamics in Oklahoma's Emerging Aerospace Industry

Rethink Vertical Podcast with Valqari Founder & CEO Ryan Walsh.

Hear Ryan Walsh's journey from special operations soldier to UAS delivery startup.

In the latest episode of the Rethink Vertical Podcast, Craig Mahaney, the Executive Director of the UAS Cluster Initiative, talks with Valqari Founder & CEO Ryan Walsh. In this podcast they discuss how Walsh's military special operations background, combined with his MBA and entrepreneurial perspective, has unveiled substantial business opportunities in the UAS industry. These include the challenges of a hardware UAS delivery system startup to achieve reduced logistics and delivery costs.

Find about this and more on the latest Rethink Vertical Podcast .

Craig Mahaney, UASCI Executive Director, joins National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Advanced Air Mobility Committee.

UASCI Executive Director, Craig Mahaney is now of a member of the NATA Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) committee.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is the leading non-profit trade association representing the business interests of general aviation service companies on legislative and regulatory matters; also providing education, services, and benefits to its members.

The NATA AAM committee is focused on the emerging AAM sector as related to general aviation infrastructure and air charter operations development, along with the Part 135 environment. This committee aims to provide stakeholder input for Fixed Base Operators and airport planning to service the next generation of aircraft and address sustainable infrastructure, including vertiports, to achieve innovative solutions in transporting people and goods will impact the overall aviation ecosystem.

Find out more about NATA at
And the NATA AAM committee at NATA AAM Committee.

NATA 2023 Annual Business Conference
November 1 to 2nd , 2023
Westin Long Beach, CA

On November 1st and 2nd, NATA will be hosting their annual Aviation Business Conference where industry experts, thought leaders, and key industry decision-makers representing various sectors of the General Avaition community — including FBOs, airports, air charter operators, MROs, and AAM/UAM.

Notable is this year's agenda includes James Grimsley of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma who will be speaking on AAM Technologies: Establishing Roots in the U.S. Aviation Ecosystem.

Find out more or register at NATA 2023 Annual Business Conference .

UASCI is creating an environment where unmanned aviation startups can thrive, connect with innovative networks, access global capital, discover national technologies and learn from proven tech industry leaders.

Questions or comments regarding Newsletter, contact Jack James at
UAS in the News
Charting the Course: Workforce Dynamics in Oklahoma's Emerging Aerospace Industry
This report provides an overview of the workforce dynamics in the UAS/AAM industry in Oklahoma. It highlights several key challenges and opportunities in this emerging sector, with a focus on addressing the workforce gaps and opportunities.
Upcoming Industry Events
UAS Summit & Expo 2023
Oct. 10 - Oct. 11, 2023
Grand Forks, ND

Oklahoma Aerospace Forum
Nov. 8, 2023, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Omni Oklahoma City Hotel, Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma Women in Aviation & Aerospace Day
December 8, 2023
Will Rogers Airport, 137th Special Operations Wing, Oklahoma City, OK
Policy News
AUVSI Calls on Congress to Swiftly Pass Multi-Year FAA Reauthorization
AUVSI | 10/01/2023
Last night, the U.S. Congress passed and President Biden signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2024 and Other Extensions Act (H.R. 5860) to fund the federal government through November 17, 2023.

FAA Remote ID – What to Know
sUAS News | 09/29/2023
We know you have questions about Remote Identification (ID). We're here to help you figure it out.

FAA Approves Nation's First Public-Use Vertiport in Blackstone, Virginia
Kalkine Media | 09/27/2023
VIPC provided funding to NAVOS Air for an Advanced Air Mobility research project that established the Vertiport.
Research News
Funding Application is Open for SMART Grant Program
Pillsbury Law | 09/26/2023
The SMART Grant Program The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program, a competitive funding program for demonstration projects that improve transportation...
Industry Headlines
Drone-based LiDAR surveys for the feasibility of renewable energy production
sUAS News | 09/28/2023
Drones have been used for many years post-construction of renewable energy projects such as solar and wind farms for inspection purposes. The use of a drone-based camera setup with either a thermal, multispectral or visible light spectrum sensor is...

Flying Car Company Partners to Create 700 Landing Facilities
IOT World Today | 09/27/2023
Flying car company Ace VTOL and Volatus Infrastructure and Energy Solutions, which develops takeoff and landing facilities for flying cars, have entered into a joint venture to create an advanced air mobility ecosystem in the Oceania region.

Skyfront Perimeter 8 Receives First Green UAS Certification from AUVSI
dronelife | 09/26/2023
The Department of Defense Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) developed the Blue sUAS program in 2020, with a list of 5 "trusted" platforms.  The program has since been adopted by the US government procurement office and other federal agencies, as well as...

Air Force Accepts Delivery of First Flying Orb
Signal ADCEA | 09/25/2023
The production of the military electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle marks a significant milestone.

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