Georgia Centers of Innovation Aerospace

The Center of Innovation for Aerospace provides the technical industry expertise, collaborative research and partnerships to help the state's aerospace industry connect, compete and grow. The Center advances recognition of Georgia’s strength in the global aerospace industry, and contributes to the entrepreneurial and educational ecosystems required for its continued growth. Home to more than 800 aerospace companies and total workforce of 99,000, the state benefits from a diverse industry across the sectors of manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), and transportation. Home to powerhouses Gulfstream Aerospace, Delta Air Lines, and Lockheed Martin, aerospace products are the number one export from the state of Georgia at $8.44 billion.


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Georgia: Hard at Work for UAS

Our Center of Innovation for Aerospace has been hard at work with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and bridging connections for UAS companies around the state.

On June 16, our Aerospace team and the Film division hosted a meeting here at the Department to discuss the use of UAS in the film industry in Georgia. As the state that is No. 1 for growth in filmmaking and has been home to such productions as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and this summer’s Ant-Man, we are always stepping up our game when it comes to the use of first-class technology and filmmaking techniques. And the use of UAS for films is taking off at an unprecedented rate.

Steve at Hall Booth SmithMore than 30 representatives from both the film and UAS industries came to the meeting to discuss their needs, the current state of FAA rules, and the capabilities of Georgia-based companies. Our director for Aerospace Steve Justice gave an overview of the aerospace and UAS industries in Georgia, and Lee Thomas for the film division spoke on the current moviemaking climate of the state. Plans are in the works for a larger follow-up meeting to further discuss UAS in film and TV production.

That same week, the Georgia UAS Working Group met for its quarterly meeting in Atlanta to talk unmanned systems as a whole. Led by Chad Dennis of Middle Georgia State College, the working group provided in-depth discussion of the UAS industry, both nationally and locally. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Mike Wilson reported on the progress of the proposed rule for small UAS, the status of Sect. 333 exemptions (companies can’t fly commercially without them) and future plans for the FAA.

UAS Working Group 6-18-15Attendees were given updates from representatives of Area-I, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and Hall, Booth & Smith, who hosted the UAS Policy Symposium on June 9. Miles Thompson, president of the AUVSI Atlanta chapter, gave a short report on May’s AUVSI National conference and their new strategic plan to become the preeminent business-to-business and business-to-government channel for the industry.

For more information on our Center of Innovation for Aerospace and how we help UAS companies in Georgia – and all aerospace businesses in the state – connect, compete and grow, visit

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