The Utah Department of Transportation recently held its second annual Utah Aeronautics Conference June 20-22; an event designed to foster public- and private-sector collaboration to ensure Utah remains at the forefront of pioneering transportation technologies of the future.
[Above photo by the Utah DOT]
“As Utah grows, Utah DOT is going to continue developing aerial transportation systems, including drone package delivery,” noted Matt Maass, director of the Utah Aeronautics Division, in a statement.
“At scale, drone deliveries could potentially reduce congestion, improve air quality, and enhance our quality of life,” he added – pointing out that recently issued drafts of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill encourage the safe, efficient testing and integration of new drone technologies into the national airspace.
Meanwhile, the Utah State Legislature passed a law in early 2023 authorizing the study of a testbed for evaluating Advanced Air Mobility operations, such as drone deliveries.
[Editor’s note: The Utah DOT hosted a special drone demonstration event at the 2019 Spring Meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Park City as part of the agency’s effort to support this new form of aviation service.]
At the 2023 Utah Aeronautics Conference, attendees watched live drone demonstrations conducted by DroneUp. As a delivery partner of Walmart, DroneUp currently provides instant deliveries to residents living in the Utah towns of Herriman and Lindon.
DroneUp noted at the conference that its delivery services in Utah have advanced significantly, as it has doubled the amount of weight its drones can carry from five pounds to 10 pounds and accelerated delivery times to less than 30 minutes.
“We’ve been working with the state of Utah since October of 2022 and admire the state for its forward-looking and innovative approach to using drones to help address getting fewer cars on the road,” noted Greg James, vice president of business development at DroneUp. “We’re honored to be a part of this conference and demonstrate our drone delivery capability.”
The conference also featured drone racing and simulated drone bridge inspections, internationally renowned keynote speakers, interactive exhibits, dozens of breakout sessions with industry professionals, and mobile tours to the Hill Air Force Base and Hill Aerospace Museum.