People

FIVE MINUTES WITH: Airbus Aerial president, Jesse Kallman

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A year on from its launch, Airbus Aerial has managed to carve out a position as one of the organisations driving market within the commercial drone space. Jesse Kallman, president of Airbus Aerial, a new business unit within Airbus, the global heavyweight in space and aeronautics, stepped into the role last May. Over the course of his career, Kallman has worked across various parts of the industry including research at Georgia Tech, federal policy at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial UAS business at Airware, and advocacy with groups such as the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Kallman told
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Insitu names former Adidas executive as new president and CEO

Esina Alic
Esina Alic has been named Insitu president and chief executive officer, assuming the role on April 5. Alic rejoins Insitu from Adidas in Germany where she served as senior vice president of global operations, strategy and programs. Prior to Adidas, she held a number of senior executive positions in business, finance and engineering at organisations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Alic previously worked at Insitu, where she was responsible for corporate strategy, global operations and international growth and partnerships among other focus areas. She also boasts experience at the likes of Visa, as vice president of finance, and
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Consortiq’s Miriam Hinthorn on cracking the UAV industry’s glass ceiling

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A lack of women working within the UAV industry has been offered as an explanation for the double-digit pay gaps revealed in recent weeks. Ahead of April deadline, by which time any private sector company with more than 250 employees needs to publish data on their gender pay gap, along with details on the proportion of male and female employees and their gender bonus gap, a selection of key players within the drone industry have disclosed pay gaps of approximately 20%. Alongside the disclosure of the mean and median difference in pay, it has also been revealed that men occupy
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Clamp down on ‘unqualified, unsafe and uninsured’ pilots will see industry blossom, says UAV pilot

Ian Titchener, Ely Aviation
With little time to go until the UK government is set to impose stricter regulations on UAV flying, drone operators have been predicting how the changing regulations will impact the sector. One pilot that has weighed in on the debate is Ian Titchener, founder of Ely Aviation. Titchener has predicted that with more stringent restriction, the industry will see a decrease in the amount of unqualified, unsafe and uninsured pilots cashing in on commissioned work. While Titchener acknowledges that not all unqualified pilots are knowingly offending, with many casually stating ‘a friend who will do it for a beer’ and
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Tethered drone ace Elistair secures £1.75m in new investment

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Elistair, the specialist in tethered drones for aerial surveillance with unlimited autonomy, has raised €2m (£1.75m) in funding after agreeing a deal with Starquest Capital and its historic investors. Since it was created in 2014, the French start-up has grown its business in the aerial surveillance and temporary telecommunications market thanks to its tethering stations for drones, offering unlimited autonomy and fully secured data transfer. Settled in more than 30 countries and supported by Total Development, the French Defense Procurement Agency, and H2020 program, Elistair has quickly became a key international player on the tethered drones market with clients such as
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Q&A: Businessman behind Cambridgeshire’s latest UAV firm weighs in on industry’s safety concerns

Ely Aviation
On Monday, Ely Aviation the company received its Permission for Commercial Operations from the CAA and officially opened its doors for business yesterday. Commercial Drone Professional spoke to Ian Titchener, manager of Cambridgeshire-based Ely Aviation, on its first day of business. In your mind, what are the biggest safety issues facing the commercial drone sector? The biggest threat to the drone industry as a whole has to be the sheer number of people flying drones with absolutely no idea of the legislation involved in doing so. For example, I came across a member of staff at my local Currys PC
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£2m drone project rebooted after previous crowdfunding campaign crashed

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There are new hopes that the Zano drone, one of Kickstarter's most notorious flops, will be brought back after a group of developers made use of seized assets from the failed crowdfunding venture. The Zano drone campaign initially raised more than £2m from more than 12,000 backers on the crowdfunding platform before the project crashed in 2015. Developers launched the Zano Camera project at this year's CES technology show in Las Vegas, which was one of a handful of initiatives at the show making use of seized assets. Vernon Kerswell, chief executive of Extreme Fliers, a London-based micro drone manufacturer, is
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More UK police forces invest in drones to help with investigations

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Yet another emergency service has adopted drone solutions to help with criminal investigations.  North Wales Police is the latest force to have invested in training officers to use unmanned aircraft in their duties. Fifteen officers and staff have been trained to use UAVs to capture video and images to be used in investigations. This includes searching for missing people as well as gathering evidence from road traffic investigations and major crime incidents. The team's two drones, which can also carry a thermal imaging cameras, have already been used to search for missing people and investigate incidents during a trial last year.
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LiDAR drones spearhead Welsh university’s research into forests

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The Earth Observation and Ecosystem Dynamics Group at Aberystwyth University has invested in LiDAR drones and imaging packages which it hopes will improve the university’s global research, particularly into forests. The unit, configured by COPTRZ, is expected to enhance the university’s research into the monitoring of British forests, focusing on the measurement of standing timber volumes, forest biomass and carbon content. The aerial view imagery will aid the university in understanding otherwise hard-to-access aspects of British forests. The data captured will then be used to monitor the introduction of Continuous Cover Forestry, a forest management technique that increases the ecological
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Consortiq manager heads up charity drive to support soldiers with PTSD

David Walters, Consortiq
A software development manager from bespoke unmanned vehicles specialist Consortiq has come forward in support of soldiers with PTSD. Consortiq’s David Walters is set to take part in 2018’s Man vs Mountain event in a bid to raise £10,000 for Help For Heroes. Walters, who will be taking part in the 22-mile race up Mount Snowdon, is part of a six-strong fundraising group, Team Easy. The software development manager told Commercial Drone Professional: “Whilst Man vs Mountain was going to be my own physical challenge, my friend Deans was already being challenged with his own mountain, PTSD. Two tours of
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