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News & Events

Drone May Signal Local Job Growth

A Springfield manufacturer delivered a small drone Tuesday to a Darke County company that’s one of the first in the Midwest allowed to use the technology to inspect power lines and substations.

From the May 13, 2015 edition of Dayton Daily News

By Matt Sanctis, Staff Writer

Springfield craft, OK’d to inspect utilities, delivered to Darke company.

A Springfield manufacturer delivered a small drone Tuesday to a Darke County company that’s one of the first in the Midwest allowed to use the technology to inspect power lines and substations.

Select Tech Geospatial, based at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, produced the unmanned aircraft for U.S. Aero batix.

Demand for jobs in the industry will likely pick up soon as more companies like U.S. Aero batix see business opportunities for the technology, said Frank Beafore, executive director of SelectTech.

“This is just the beginning of a whole new and rapidly expanding industry utilizing UAS,” Beafore said.

Both state and local business leaders have identified the growing field as a key to the region’s economic future. The industry could employ 2,700 workers from Ohio by 2025, according to a report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

The industry could lead to more than 100,000 new jobs nationwide with an economic impact of more than $82 billion, the trade group’s report says.

U.S. Aerobatix received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month. It will use the drone to fly close to power lines, cellphone towers, wind turbines and solar power panels to inspect them using sensors and infrared cameras.

The company based near Greenville is small but will grow as it picks up more work, Vice President Jason Adams said. He singled out programs such as one at Sinclair Community College and said he would likely look to its students to operate the drones.....

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