Local company leading work on unmanned aircraft

By Andrew McGinn


An industry report this week predicted that unmanned aircraft systems will create more than 2,700 new Ohio jobs by 2025, but for one Springfield company, unmanned aircraft already make up 20 percent of the bottom line.

“I had intended to get into it. I didn’t intend to get into it so soon,” said Frank Beafore, executive director of SelectTech GeoSpatial, which is located inside a renovated, 17,000-square-foot hangar at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

While the 4-year-old company currently employs nearly 30 people, it’s on the ground floor of what promises to be something very big — Tuesday’s report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimated that commercial and civil UAS will have a $2.1 billion economic impact on Ohio within a decade of their 2015 integration into national airspace.