The old catchphrase “Virginia is for Lovers” may be true but – thanks to a North Carolina start-up the Commonwealth is also for drone lovers.
Charlotte UAV recently won a contract to provide Virginia government agencies with UAS services ranging from emergency/law-enforcement support to gaming, agriculture, media relations and marketing services.
The agreement is no surprise to drone watchers as Virginia continues to innovate and partner across the industry, having joined the UAS Integration Pilot Program. Last week, the town of Christianburg joined a partnership that will test consumer drone delivery.
For Charlotte UAV, the contract opens up friendly skies not only in Virginia but across the country, allowing the company to provide drone related services to state and local government agencies in all 50 states through the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint Cooperative Purchasing Organization.
“Local governments face increasing pressure to capture data more accurately and with greater timeliness, particularly in fast-growing areas,” Charlotte UAV co-founder Brett Smith said.
“Unmanned aerial vehicles increasingly are being accepted as an important tool to help cities and counties keep pace. We are excited about this new opportunity and applaud the Commonwealth of Virginia for their efforts that have simplified public sector access to unmanned solutions.”
“Virginia had the foresight and initiative to take on the administrative burden of reviewing each response to the solicitation on a national scale, carefully determining which states and what sectors each contractor is skilled to work in,” Charlotte UAV marketing director John Seabrooke said.
“This will bring a cost savings and cut back on administrative costs to the states that join forces with Virginia, making it win/win situation for all involved.”
Founded in 2013 by two Air Force veterans, Charlotte UAV Charlotte-based firm deploys software and hardware UAV solutions focusing on aerial-data collection. Solutions include land surveys, precision agriculture, and 2D/3D mapping.
In addition, Charlotte UAV has established a niche in the nuclear power-plant sector. Last year, the company partnered with HAZON Solutions to inspect Southern Nuclear’s Plant Farley in Alabama.
As a sub-contractor for Dronescape, Charlotte UAV took part in the N.C. Department of Transportation winning the AUVSI XCELLENCE Humanitarian Award after using drones in an innovative response to Hurricane Florence.