Ogden City hosted the Utah Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Summit on September 27, bringing together industry leaders, top researchers, and government officials to discuss the future of UAS in Utah. Topics addressed at the summit included business opportunities, policy and regulatory issues, and the latest technological advances in UAS. The summit also included static and live demonstrations of UAS. The event was held at the Kemp Gateway Center at Ogden-Hinckley Airport and was co-hosted by Deseret UAS and Box Elder County.

The UAS industry is growing rapidly around the world, with applications ranging from defense and security to agriculture and engineering. PwC noted the tremendous growth potential of commercial UAS applications in 2016, commenting, “With an estimated market value of over $127 billion in commercial applications, drones are making the transition from novelty item to indispensable business tool.”

Ogden and the broader Northern Utah region are ideally suited to support the emerging UAS industry. The region has existing strengths in aerospace and defense, along with unique assets such as the Ogden Airport and a UAS test site at Promontory. Ogden City is a key player in collaborative efforts to develop the labor force, education, and innovation needed to support disruptive technologies, including UAS.

Ogden City has been working to support innovative UAS businesses since 2011. For example, the City has worked closely with UtopiaCompression, a leader in UAS sense and avoid technologies, and supported a $1.2 million legislative appropriation for Deseret UAS, which will develop command and control systems for commercial UAS. Both UtopiaCompression and Deseret UAS participated as speakers at the Utah UAS Summit in Ogden.

The Utah UAS Summit attracted more than 140 registered attendees. Attendees enjoyed presentations from industry leaders discussing business opportunities, government officials developing policies for UAS, and researchers from WSU, USU, U of U, and BYU exploring the latest technologies. The event concluded with the unique opportunity to see live demonstrations of UAS at the Ogden Airport.