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N.C. Global TransPark Hosting Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference

NC DOTKINSTON – The North Carolina Global TransPark will host an international conference next week – the first time in its six-year history to be held in the United States – on the latest developments and trends in the field of unmanned cargo aircraft.

The Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference, which runs March 19-21, will explore the emerging technology to transport goods to areas that do not have the infrastructure or geography to accommodate traditional forms of transportation.

“North Carolina has a long history of aviation and aerospace innovation, so it is fitting that North Carolina was chosen to host the conference for the first time in the U.S.,” Global TransPark Executive Director Allen Thomas said.

Unmanned cargo aircraft are smaller and more aerodynamic than manned aircraft yet can carry up to 10 tons of goods over both short and long distances. The technology not only means the potential for more efficient delivery of cargo but the ability to aid in disaster relief operations and new economic opportunities for areas that are difficult to reach. (Learn more about unmanned cargo aircraft.)

The Global TransPark is a division of the N.C. Department of Transportation, which has established itself as a national leader in implementing unmanned aircraft systems, paving the way for continued public and private innovation.

“This conference is a great chance to showcase the future of unmanned aircraft, especially here in North Carolina,” said Bobby Walston, director of NCDOT’s Division of Aviation. “We’re already working to use drone technology for crash scene reconstruction, marine habitat monitoring, medical supply delivery and more. This is an exciting possible next step.”

Registration for the event is still open at the conference website.

About the Conference

The Unmanned Cargo Aircraft Conference is being organized by the Netherlands-based Jakajima, hosted by the North Carolina Global TransPark and supported by U.S. Cargo Systems, Lenoir County Economic Development, Lenoir Community College, the Global TransPark Foundation, Lenoir Committee of 100 and North Carolina Aerospace Corridor.

It features 14 speakers from international companies, associations and start-ups, including two from East Carolina University and the NextGen Air Transportation Consortium at North Carolina State University, which will present on the integration of unmanned aircraft systems for healthcare package delivery in North Carolina.

Conference topics will include:

Business models for unmanned cargo aircraft
What unmanned cargo aircraft could – and should – look like
Where and under what conditions unmanned cargo aircraft should fly
The social and economic benefits of unmanned cargo aircraft can contribute to economic and social development
How unmanned cargo aircraft can contribute to innovation and the opportunities they generate for new enterprises
About the North Carolina Global TransPark

A division of the N.C. Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Global TransPark is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking multimodal developments in the world. The business park supports the manufacturing and logistics needs of the aviation, aerospace, defense, emergency response and advanced materials industries.

The Global TransPark features a centerpiece 11,500-foot runway, on-site rail connections, shovel-ready development sites, available facilities and an onsite Foreign Trade Zone.

Its strategic location to interstate and connector highways provides easy access to military installations, colleges and universities, metropolitan areas and North Carolina’s ports in Morehead City and Wilmington.

Features of the Global TransPark also include customized training opportunities at a 2,950-square-foot composite training lab, and partnerships with the state’s network of colleges and universities means a highly skilled workforce to support the growing needs of companies doing business at the park.

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