BY MANJARI FERGUSSON
The military is a major user of unmanned aircraft, but Jeff Williams says it’s the civilian market that will “explode” with new products and applications in the next few years when federal regulations are rewritten. His company, Williams Aerospace, based at Campbell Industrial Park in Kapolei, aims to take advantage of that explosion.
Williams Aerospace designs, builds and integrates unmanned aerial vehicles and systems, known in the business as UAVs and UASs, but commonly called drones. Williams and his wife, Leilani, founded the company in 2002, but it didn’t kick into gear until 2005, when he retired from the military.
“I flew for 23 years in the Navy doing land surveillance. When I did my master’s degree atEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University, I got interested in the UAV stuff and I applied my skills and knowledge from the military to the unmanned side,” says Williams.