DAVIS COUNTY, UT, April 25, 2023 – The Utah Aerospace & Defense Association (UADA) and Deseret Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) announced they are consolidating efforts to better collaborate and advocate on behalf of Utah’s aerospace and defense industry. As public-private partnerships, both organizations represent companies in Utah valued at trillions of dollars collectively.
UADA will lead the organizations’ respective efforts going forward, with Deseret UAS being restructured as UADA’s newly created Advanced Aviation and Technology Committee (AATC). Shawn Milne, Deseret UAS board chair, will chair the AATC under the leadership of UADA President and CEO Aaron Starks.
“UADA and Deseret UAS’ shared vision to foster the world’s premier ecosystem for Utah’s aerospace and defense companies seamlessly and synergistically aligns, creating a unique opportunity for this collaborative partnership,” said UADA President and CEO Aaron Starks. “Together, we will advocate for policies, regulations, and research that directly support our members.”
As the premier organization in Utah dedicated to AAM, Deseret UAS has provided unparalleled access to several large flight test ranges with miles of wide-open land and air since 2018. The organization centralized information sharing and best practices for AAM companies in Utah, and fostered applied research that helped to commercialize AAM-related technologies.
“We whole-heartedly embrace a consolidation with UADA to keep Utah’s aerospace and defense industry at the forefront of the world’s technological innovations,” said Deseret UAS Chair Shawn Milne. “The United States did not have roads or a national interstate system when Henry Ford built the Model T. We will work proactively with UADA to support the uncrewed aerial vehicles and transportation systems that will be used for the roads of the future.”
Established in 2022, UADA is taking off literally and figuratively. The fast-growing organization boasts dozens of members both in the public and private sector, including Northrop Grumman, Fortem Technologies, Hexcel, the Utah System of Higher Education, the Utah Governor’s Office, and many more. The organization’s goal is simple: to ensure all companies in Utah’s aerospace and defense industry have the tools they need to succeed.
“Advanced air mobility is the way of the future and has the potential to fundamentally reshape our lives. UADA represents aerospace and defense companies making transformational innovations that are improving Utahns’ quality of life and leading to strong economic prosperity for decades to come,” said UADA Chair Robert C. O’Brien, co-founder and chairman of American Global Strategies. “Through this organizational consolidation and UADA’s efforts going forward, Utah will continue to be at the epicenter of making these innovations a reality.”
“Deseret UAS has laid the groundwork for the advanced air mobility industry in Utah to really take off,” said Stan Summers, Deseret UAS Board member. “We look forward to working with UADA to advocate on behalf of their members for our shared priorities.”