The Miami-Dade Beacon Council Launches Commercial Drone Initiative

May 4, 2017

MIAMI, FL (May 4, 2017) - Uplifted by this week's well-attended Wings of Change Miami Aviation Conference, the Miami-Dade Beacon Council is launching an initiative to focus on a new segment of the aviation and technology sectors - drones.

Drones - officially designated as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) -- are expected to become more popular. While the FAA is projecting growth over the next five years in "nearly every aspect of air transportation," UAS represent a new type of aviation that offers accessibility to several types of operators and businesses.  The FAA is predicting 3.55 million hobbyist drones, and 442,000 commercial drones will take to America's skies by 2021.

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council's Aviation Committee, charged with further developing and expanding Miami's already robust aviation and aeronautics industry, believes this creates a new opportunity for Miami-Dade County.

"Commercial interest in unmanned aircraft systems is accelerating rapidly," said Alex De Gunten, chair of the Council's Aviation Committee. "Miami-Dade County is uniquely qualified to serve as a year-round hub of drone innovation, as well as the UAS gateway into Latin America."

A UAS working group has been created within the Aviation Committee to develop strategies on how Miami-Dade County can capitalize on the increasing interest in drones.  In their 2016 report "Clarity From Above," PwC projects the global drone services sector will be valued at $127.3 billion by 2020.  De Gunten says Miami-Dade County must act now to keep pace with other U.S. markets that are also vying for a share of the UAS industry. 

As part of the new UAS initiative, the Council will be hosting a mini-seminar for local business leaders on Thursday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at its offices. "Miami and Commercial Drones" will feature a current summary of how drones are reshaping several key industries such as agriculture, real estate, construction, and public safety.

The mini-seminar will feature a presentation by Amanda Quevedo, Aviation Safety Technician with the South Florida Flight Standards District Office (FSDO-19), who will discuss the FAA Part 107 regulations affecting commercial drone operations. Registration is free. 

To register, please visitwww.beaconcouncil.com/news-events/events

Local businesses and drone operators interested in learning more about the Miami-Dade Beacon Council's new UAS working group are encouraged to contact James Kohnstamm at jkohnstamm@beaconcouncil.com

Presented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Council, Wings of Change Miami recently capped two days of seminars and discussions with key industry experts from around the world. The biennial event typically held in Latin America made its inaugural U.S. visit, signaling Miami's growing importance as a global aviation hub. With 483 aviation and aerospace companies in Miami-Dade, the $2 billion sector now accounts for more than 24,000 jobs with an average annual salary of more than $82,000.

About Miami-Dade Beacon Council

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council is the County's official economic development partnership.  The not-for-profit public-private organization focuses on job creation and economic growth.  Since 1985, the organization has assisted more than 980 businesses that have created more than 65,000 direct jobs and added more than $4 billion in new capital investments.  It accomplishes this marketing Miami-Dade as a world-class business location, growing local companies and shaping the local economy's future.  For more information, visit www.beaconcouncil.com