‘Overwhelming response’ to first UAV-focused conference in the Mid-South

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When the folks at Entira, Inc., an agricultural marketing and management firm with offices in Memphis, Tenn., decided to put on the Delta AgTech Symposium at the Memphis Agricenter, they had no idea what to expect.

“We figured the response would be mostly regional, but when the inquiries started coming in, they were coming in from California, Argentina,” said Kelli Polatty, an Entira associate who worked closely with the conference. “We have a farmer here from Australia and both sides of the nation. It’s been very, very exciting to see.

“People are interested, and they want the information. And, we want to provide that and help bring together people who can provide the information.”

Those sources include Polatty, who has spoken to a number of groups in the Memphis area about the growing importance of unmanned aerial vehicles or systems, using statistics provided by the Association for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems International, which helped organize the conference.

“One of the highlights of the show was the appearance by Jim Williams, manager of Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration for the Federal Aviation Administration,” Polatty noted. (Williams and his office are working on a September 2015 deadline for issuing new regulations for integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems in the national airspace.)

“He had a great presentation, and I think it was important for show attendees to have that one-on-one face time and to be able to ask those questions directly to him, and for him to be able to provide as much information as he could.”

Polatty said the conference organizers plan on offering the event next year. “We may change the timing on it to try to better fit everyone’s schedules. But we are already putting plans in place for the 2015 Delta AgTech Symposium.”

For more information on Unmanned Vehicle Systems, visit http://www.auvsi.org/home.

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