Krista Almanzan

Drones have moved from corners in the tech and model aircraft worlds to warranting conferences of their own.  Right now there’s a major one underway in Atlanta.  It comes on the heels of the Drones Data X Conference that wrapped up this weekend with in Santa Cruz. 


The Kaiser Permanente Arena in downtown Santa Cruz is normally home to the D-league basketball team, the Santa Cruz Warriors.  But on Friday it was all about drones.

Krista Almanzan

Some of the biggest players in the world of drones will be meeting two weeks from now in Santa Cruz.  They’re coming for the Drones Data X Conference.

I met the event’s founders, Philip McNamara and Doug Erickson, outside a coffee shop in downtown Santa Cruz.   McNamara is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four companies.  He recently moved here from Ireland by way of Berkeley.

Krista Almanzan

The FAA recently approved permits for the first commercial use of drones.  So later this summer, two drones will be used to survey ice floes and migrating whales in the Artic; as well as, support emergency response crews monitoring oil spills.  The potential use of drones beyond the battlefield was made clear this week at an event hosted by the Naval Post Graduate School