Imagine a day when millions of drones fly billions of flights – conducting inspections for energy, agriculture, and industry, facilitating telecommunications, and delivering packages…or even people. That day is not far away. Drones will soon be an integral part of our everyday lives.

I want to take a moment to celebrate the people who are making this possible: our incredible team here at AirMap.

From the very beginning, Greg (my fellow co-founder) and I knew that an airspace management platform like AirMap could help millions of drones fly safely and accelerate the pace of innovation for the entire industry. We also realized that we would need to build a team with an unparalleled breadth and depth of expertise to make this technology a reality, from highly skilled engineers to subject matter experts in unmanned technology, policy, aviation, security, mapping, data, and more.

In less than two years from our founding, the “AirCrew” has grown to nearly forty people. And as our numbers have grown, so has the experience, knowledge, relationships, and talent this team can apply to the challenges and opportunities presented by the exponential expansion of the drone ecosystem.

Members of the AirMap team bring with them insights and expertise from careers with the FAA, Boeing, the U.S. Air Force, Symantec, MITRE, Esri, Google, Uber, and more. Nearly a third of the team has earned a pilot’s license – and I’m particularly proud that a third of the team has passed the FAA’s Part 107 knowledge test for commercial operators.

AirMap co-founder Gregory S. McNeal celebrates passing the FAA's Part 107 knowledge test for commercial operators.

AirMap co-founder Gregory S. McNeal celebrates passing the FAA’s Part 107 knowledge test for commercial operators.

Today, I have the pleasure of announcing a number of exciting new additions to this team of innovators – including the appointment of our first Chief Technology Officer, Daniel Rubio.

Daniel is a veteran tech executive with more than two decades of experience in mapping, IoT, robotics, mobile devices and autonomous cars to AirMap. He will be an invaluable member of AirMap’s leadership team, helping to drive AirMap’s vision for innovation, shape company and product strategy, and lead the development of airspace solutions that advance the capabilities of AirMap’s partners.

Daniel joins us from HERE, a high-definition mapping company focused on solutions for self-driving cars. As CTO at HERE, Rubio led the team behind the company’s cloud platform for autonomous vehicles, a system that revolutionized how vehicles receive and communicate information and sense and interpret the world around them. In his impressive career, Rubio also led the development of the Motorola Droid at Motorola & Google and brought Android to Nokia with his work on the Nokia X.

I’m tremendously excited to work beside such an experienced and visionary innovator.

AirMap also recently welcomed Pasha Saleh as Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships. I’ve followed his career closely, from his years as a captain with Continental Airlines, to his experiences as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and a regional sales team leader at Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, to his work as a senior strategist and business development leader at The Boeing Company.

As a seasoned leader in aviation and business development, Pasha has already had an incredible impact on AirMap’s sales and customer support organization and deepened our relationships within the drone industry and with a diverse set of drone stakeholders. We’re thrilled to have him with us.

Richard Deakin, already a core member of our advisory board, has also accepted a new position as Chairman of EMEA. As an advisor to AirMap for more than six months, Richard has contributed significantly to AirMap’s engagement with major stakeholders in North America, Europe, and further afield. He has more than 30 years of airspace management experience, including his tenure as CEO of NATS, the leading air navigation service provider in the UK. We’re incredibly fortunate to benefit from Richard’s guidance and expertise.

In his new role, Richard will continue to focus on expanding and deepening AirMap’s relationships and integrations with air navigation service providers worldwide, ensuring safer skies for all manned and unmanned traffic and stakeholders on the ground. Richard’s extensive experience deploying air traffic management solutions will help us accelerate adoption of AirMap’s leading airspace management platform throughout the world.

Please join me in welcoming and celebrating Daniel, Pasha, and Richard – and the entire team of innovators already at work at AirMap.