UAS Program Manager N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation
Ben Spain serves as program manager for the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division of Aviation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program. In this role, he envisions and directs efforts that position North Carolina as a global leader in UAS (drone) safety, government integration, commercial and economic development, and knowledge creation. That includes ensuring North Carolina maintains the safest possible environment for drone operations; maximizes state and local agency use of UAS technology to improve public services and operations; builds a world-leading UAS economy; pursues research and innovations that promote drone safety, government integration and commercial development; and designs and advocates for supportive local, state and federal policies. Spain brings to this work extensive experience in aviation operations and regulation, program and project management, and software development. Spain most recently served as program manager, telecommunications at PrecisionHawk, an enterprise UAS company located in Raleigh, N.C. There he worked with telecom customers to implement turnkey UAS solutions. Prior to PrecisionHawk, Spain served 12 years on active duty with the U.S. Air Force as an officer and C-130J evaluator pilot. In that role, he led combat airlift operations across Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia while also managing a variety multi-million-dollar programs, from student pilot training to international military exercises. Spain is a member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ UAS Working Group and North Carolina High School Drone Advisory Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma State University. Spain is an avid general aviation pilot and maintains a connection with military aviation through his service in the Air Force Reserve.
Currently Scheduled: Day 1 Session 1: Drone Programs