TRAVERSE CITY – Five entrepreneurs have partnered to create a group dedicated to expanding and promoting the drone industry in this northern Michigan resort town.
The nonprofit is called SharedSky. Its mission statement reads: To connect individuals, businesses, local government, and organizations interested in the safe and ethical use of unmanned aerial systems in the national airspace. SharedSky provides a network for members who unite in effectively furthering the UAS industry standards and practices through member and public education, steering policy, and advocating the use of drones through multiple industries.
Its website goes on to say SharedSky was created in Michigan by a number of industry members with a passion for unmanned aviation. The opportunity came when existing companies and educators united from the microclimate of drone activity that already called Traverse City home. We have created an association filled with members that share our same excitement – and reaches well beyond one town in Michigan.
SharedSky also hopes to open the region’s first drone park where drone operators can not only network, but also fly their unmanned devices safely.
The founding members include:
Enrico Schaefer of Drone Law Pro is experienced in FAA drone laws and regulations. Schaefer is a regular contributor to M2 TechCast, an Internet radio show co-hosted by MITechNews.Com Editor Mike Brennan and former tech reporter Matt Roush. The show can be heard at www.podcastdetroit.com.
Christian Smith, president of SharedSky’s board of directors and CEO of Traverse City-based Interactive Aerial.
Dennis Wiand of Zero Gravity Aerial that specializes in aerial data collection and environmental assessment.
James Greenway, who owns SkySkopes – a North Dakota-based national UAS firm that opened a Traverse City satellite in January. SkySkopes focuses on energy industry inspections and agricultural surveying.
Rob Dreer brings education and commercial components to the nonprofit as assistant chief UAS instructor at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) and owner of Cherry Capital Drones.
A story in The Ticker, a Traverse City news and events publication, said SharedSky hopes to encourage drone education and enrollment by forming partnerships with organizations including Traverse City Area Public Schools, Junior Achievement and the Boy Scouts of America, teaching young people about drones and promoting careers in technology. The nonprofit is working on hosting a Drone Day in October open to Boy Scouts across Michigan, tying in to the Boy Scouts’ new initiative to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The nonprofit also hopes to educate hobbyists on drone laws and ethics.
For more information, click on http://www.sharedsky.org/