By Ben Marcus, Chairman and Cofounder
Since we founded AirMap in 2015, Greg and I have had the humbling privilege of leading the company that has defined airspace management for drones. Today, AirMap’s open platform serves more than 85% of the world’s drones and more than 100,000 flights each day. AirMap is a critical enabler for the future of high-scale, highly automated flights that will perform a diverse set of innovative missions – from remote sensing for the construction and insurance industries to package delivery and aerial commuting.
We’ve evolved alongside a rapidly growing and maturing drone industry. AirMap has become a truly global business, with offices on three continents. Last year, we collaborated with the FAA and industry partners to create the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), which automates air traffic control authorizations for drone flights in controlled airspace in the U.S, and became the UTM provider for the state of Kansas. We launched our joint venture with Rakuten, delivering airspace management to Japan, and together with Airways, we brought UTM to New Zealand . And now, with our new partnership with skyguide, AirMap will be deploying Europe’s first nationwide drone traffic management system – another major milestone for the drone community.
With this in mind, I am delighted to announce that we have selected our next CEO, David Hose, to help us realize our vision for AirMap. In our next phase of growth, David will be leading the team as we operationalize the AirMap platform, bringing safe, secure, and reliable services to millions of flights across the world.
David is a seasoned technology executive and serial entrepreneur. He brings more than 35 years of experience to AirMap, serving as founder, CEO, investor, board member, and advisor for more than 40 companies over the course of his career. Early in his career, David was founder and CEO of Signalsoft, a pioneer in the development of location-based services for mobile phones, which he took public and later sold to OpenWave. Ever since, he has been passionate about location-based services, mapping, and mobility – passions that will continue to fuel our resolve to make flight part of everyday life. David brings a winning combination of operational rigor and innovative leadership to AirMap, as well as a proven ability to scale companies like ours at this critical moment in our growth.
David has already been at work behind the scenes at AirMap, joining us in November of 2017 to support and accelerate our global expansion. As the board and I evaluated candidates during our search process, it became clear that David is the right choice to lead AirMap as we work worldwide to open the skies for drones.
As I pass the CEO baton to David, I am stepping into a new, full time role as AirMap’s Chairman. In this role, I will focus on shaping AirMap’s vision and strategy, building partnerships across the world, and working with our community to inspire and accelerate society’s adoption of drone technology. Greg will continue to serve in his current role as cofounder, strategic advisor, and thought leader on matters of policy, regulation, and the future of the drone industry. We’re both looking forward to supporting and working with David in the years to come.
I’m grateful to the incredible AirMap team for their dedication and hard work over the past three years, and to our customers and partners, who have entrusted us to make the future of drones a reality. I am also appreciative of the investors who have fueled us on this journey, including Lux Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Microsoft, Airbus, Qualcomm, Rakuten, and many others.
Even with all that the team has accomplished since 2015, I know that AirMap has just begun to scratch the surface of the value we will deliver to the industry and to society in the coming years. I’m confident that David will lead us to far greater heights. Please join me and the AirMap team in welcoming David!