The South Jersey Economic Development District is tossing its hat into the ring as a potential host region for an aviation conference listed as one of the 23 recommendations recently provided to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood by the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee.

“We are looking forward to hosting this important aviation conference that will help shape the future of aviation in the U.S. and beyond,” said Gordon K. Dahl, executive director of the South Jersey Economic Development District.

“Being selected as the host region would be a testament to the numerous and unique aviation resources we currently have in southern New Jersey and those that are underway, including the Next Generation Aviation Research and Technology Park.”

The district has been implementing a series of strategic initiatives throughout the region to enhance and accelerate the growth of the aviation technology industry in southern New Jersey.

Infrastructure is nearing completion on the 58-acre Next Generation Aviation Research and Technology Park at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township. Other key initiatives include the opening of the Aviation Institute at Atlantic Cape Community College and a recent Unmanned Aerial Systems study that found southern New Jersey to be a prime location for the development and testing of unmanned aerial vehicles commonly known as drones.

According to Dahl, these initiatives, in addition to the presence of the Tech Center, will help the region emerge as a global leader in aviation technology.

The purpose of the conference is to bridge the gap of information and understanding between the aviation industry’s workforce and its management.

The SJEDD would establish a working group of interested parties, including a congressional team to the host the conference in southern New Jersey.

In July, the SJEDD sponsored an aviation industry conference in Washington, D.C., for approximately 60 major aviation corporate officers to brief industry executives on opportunities at the Next Generation Aviation Research and Technology Park.

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.