Avwatch of Plymouth will operate and manage unmanned aircraft system test ranges on Cape Cod and at other sites in Massachusetts that are part of a regional testing network selected by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2013.
MassDevelopment on Monday announced Avwatch's selection to oversee operations at the 22,000-acre Joint Base Cape Cod, delivering aerial reconnaissance, real-time full motion video and aerial systems testing and evaluation.
Avwatch was founded in 2008. MassDevelopment predicted the test ranges and center will offer new business opportunities in the areas of unmanned aircraft system platforms, control systems and payload/sensor development.
Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York is the lead site in the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR) Alliance. The drone industry is projected to create 70,000 new jobs nationwide by 2017 and more than 100,000 by 2025, according to MassDevelopment.
While commonly associated with military operations, drone applications extend to disaster recovery and homeland security, fisheries surveillance, shark patrols, and other activities.
Plymouth-based Avwatch, Inc, is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).
According to Marcus Tooker of Avwatch operations, Avwatch expects there to be 10 to 15 new jobs created in the next 6 to 12 months as part of the Joint Base Cape Cod project. "The total number of jobs will increase as the program develops," Tooker said.