Construction, Aggregates and Mining

See how UAVs can streamline the construction industry through data collection, imaging, BIM integration, and resource management with these 60-minute sessions and panels, which will also  include discussions on aggregates and mining. Discover how drones are reshaping the way work sites are surveyed and how stockpiles are measured with increasing accuracy as drone technology and solutions are refined each year.

Tuesday, September 4th

Pre-Conference Workshop: Part 107 Training

Full-Day Workshop

11:00 AM – 5:30 PM


Speakers: Enrico Schaefer, Tony Sauerbrey

This all-day training session will focus on the essential areas to study for the Part 107 Knowledge Test. Course content and objectives will include Part 107 rules and regulations, aeronautical charts, weather patterns and National Airspace System (NAS), as well as eligibility requirements to be able to take the FAA written knowledge test.

This session will cover more than just the fine details of what you need to know for the Knowledge Test, but also provide you with insight on how to think and operate like a professional commercial drone pilot and provide you with everyday examples that remote pilots may encounter when out performing commercial flight operations for themselves or their clients. This session will be a comprehensive overview to assist you with preparation for taking the Part 107 Knowledge Test and think about the next steps beyond the Knowledge Test.


• Following policies and practices such as pre-flight and post-flight checklist for every drone flight operations

• Online test prep resources (handout)

• Industry Standards

• FAA Past Practices and the direction they are moving forward with


• Understanding Part 107 Regulations

• Understanding and identifying the various classes of controlled, uncontrolled, and Special Use airspace.

• An understanding of how to read and interpret aeronautical chart symbology.

• Planning methods to translate a location on street/satellite maps into an aeronautical chart.

• Understanding of Aeronautical Decision Making and human factors affecting safe flight.

• Understanding basic weather principles.

• Interpreting weather reports and forecasts.

Pre-Confernce Workshop: Drone Startup 101: Finding Your Fortune in the Drone Industry

Half-Day Workshop

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM


Speakers: Allen Scott Beach, Andrea Beach

This half-day workshop will focus on helping you find success in the drone industry. We will cover everything from deciding what kind of business to start to sales, marketing and the top 5 checklist. We will help you simplify the process of starting and running a successful drone company, and discuss simple strategies such as: “Do what you know,” “There is nothing more important than sales” and “Be willing to throw out the status quo.” While no one can guarantee your success, what is guaranteed is that there’s no chance of success if you never begin.


• Drone Opportunities Abound: Selecting what’s right for you.

• Trail Blazers: Learn from those that have gone before you.

• How to build a competitive advantage

• Marketing on a shoestring

• The hunt for start-up capital


• The key components of starting a drone business

• A myriad of viable options for drone start-ups

• An understanding of what it takes to be successful

Wednesday, September 5th

FAA Regulations: The Latest Outlook


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Christopher Korody

Speakers: Lydia Hilton, Anthony Zakel

With a new administrator at the helm of the FAA, what has changed? What has stayed the same? What do you think should be addressed next and how do you express your views? This panel is designed as an open forum to ask questions to an esteemed lineup of lawmakers and legal experts as well as cover what you need to know to safely and legally fly your drone.

How to Prove Safety: Gaining BVLOS and Part 107 Waiver


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Track: All

Speaker: Adam Robertson

This session will address the key ways to establish proof of safety in your drone program, and discuss how to achieve BVLOS for UAV and steps for securing a Part 107 Waiver. An autonomous drone revolution is underway to tap the economic potential of the vast and largely empty airspace overhead. Drones are already an indispensable part of the daily workflow in many industries, including search and rescue, construction, mining, agriculture, real estate and film making. Emerging UAV capabilities such as large infrastructure inspection, border patrol and package transport require safe beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) services to be economically viable. So, what’s the best solution to achieving BVLOS?

Many solutions claim to enable safer flight and detect-and-avoid capabilities; however, radar is proven to be a superior solution to help UAV and operators achieve BVLOS. The FAA has prioritized radar as the key technology for development in achieving optimal safety and security in the airspace. This talk will discuss key developments to radar solutions, including machine learning, AI, software enhancement for data mapping and more, all which can be deployed and applied to most any kind of drone.

The class will also outline the steps necessary to secure the critical Part 107 Waiver for operation in controlled airspace, helping companies to save time and resources on the process. While the FAA has attempted to streamline the application process through its DroneZone portal, there are some key things you will learn that can facilitate the process. The 107 Waiver allows for UAVs to operate at night, over people, flight from a moving vehicle or truck, operate multiple aircraft with a single pilot, fly beyond visual line of sight, flight above 400 feet, and fly near airports and other protected airspace.

You will walk away knowing how the use of radar and gaining a Part 107 Waiver can help unlock the many benefits that a world of drone commerce can offer.

Utilizing UAS in Construction


12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Track: Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Speaker: Paul Wheeler

Contractors across the nation are seeing the value of utilizing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) on their projects due to the detailed data that can be collected easily and at low cost. The deliverable from UAS can be used for a myriad of uses within construction. This session will discuss utilizing UAS for construction monitoring, quantities, as-built models, and the best practices to achieve the desired results.

Learning Objectives:

• What can be accomplished utilizing UAS for Construction

• How to utilize UAS in construction for the best return on investment

• What is required to fly within FAA UAS Part 107 rules

• Hardware needed to get started

• What software is needed for UAS data collection and processing

• QC/ QA on UAS data

• Cost savings realized on Utah SR20 project utilizing UAS

Partnerships and the Future of the Commercial Drone Industry Landscape


12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Michael Blades

Speakers: Derek Lyons, Joshua Ziering, Jan Gasparic

The commercial drone ecosystem is changing almost as rapidly as the technology that drives it. This panel will discuss, from both a US and global view, how the commercial drone services market has transitioned from a stove-piped development approach to a race to provide a one-stop shop for all-in-one services supporting various industries. However, not all partnerships are as beneficial as they seem while others hit solution services out the park. This panel will cover what these partnerships mean for the commercial drone ecosystem as well as the opportunities they may produce or possibly eliminate through their synergies.

3D Mapping with UAS in Construction: Aircraft, Software, and Managing Data


3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Track: Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Speaker: Douglas Spotted Eagle

The ability to create a timeline of aerial images on a construction site is not only affordable, it will offer insights to the jobsite that is sure to save money and efforts. Collecting aerial data on a construction site with the use of a UAS can offer digital elevation maps, point clouds and other useful data.

This class will present real-world examples of how this technology has changed the face of surveying and mapping for construction and engineering analysis. The session will encompass the practical steps necessary to acquire suitable images in the field and how those images may be processed to generate data that is extremely valuable and useful to a variety of clients.

This presentation will be of great interest to any drone pilot wishing to expand operations beyond photography and video applications.

This session will include:

• Construction jobsite integration with UAS Overview

• Overview of orthomosaics and 3D Modeling

• Advantages of utilizing orthomosaics

• Programming the Flight Grid & capturing the data

• Mapping the construction site (orthomosaic and 3D models)

Moving Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management Forward: The Current Landscape


3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Jim Williams

Speakers: Biruk Abraham, Mark Aitken, Marke “Hoot” Gibson

In the first half of this 120-minute panel, the current landscape of UTM will be discussed from policy and regulatory standpoints. With programs like Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) rolling out, the path to flying quickly, legally and safely is becoming more streamlined. But what’s the state of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations? Where does UAS remote tracking and identification currently stand? This panel of industry-leading experts with discuss these topics as well as the reality of implementation and integration into our National Airspace System (NAS).

Moving Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management Forward: The Future Landscape


4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Jim Williams

Speakers: Matt Fanelli

The second half of this 120-minute panel will cover the path forward for UTM from a technical, real-world implementation standpoint. You will hear from the companies that are facilitating the advancement of UTM through their solutions and programs, and learn what resources are available to you now for flying quickly, legally and safely. The future vision for fully integrating drones into our National Airspace System (NAS) will also be discussed.

Building an Enterprise-Scale UAV Program in the Mining Industry


4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Track: Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Speaker: Andrew Carey

Are you curious how drones are revolutionizing one of the world’s largest mines? This presentation covers how drone technology is being utilized at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper as well as the fundamental steps for building an enterprise drone program fit for such a large operation. Details include a list of comprehensive use cases for drones within the large-scale mining industry, internal and external regulatory compliance challenges, pilot certification and practical training, fleet management and of course plenty of lessons learned.

Harnessing the Power of Your Drone Data


4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Track: All

Speakers: Amit Ganjoo, Marty Scholl

Drones gather a trove of information and data, but how do you turn that data into actionable business insights? From the collection process to analysis and decision making, this panel will cover the best ways to harness the data in your pipeline while increasing productivity and your bottom line.

Thursday, September 6th

Working with the FAA on Construction Projects


8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

Track: Business | Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Speaker: Chan Ahn

It is an exhilarating experience to fly a drone within 800 feet of an active State airport while communicating with the air traffic control tower. Wind, air traffic, private planes, touring helicopters, multiple moving cranes and unexpected situations contribute the complications. This class will peak the behind scenes to learn what it takes to operate a drone near an airport.

Drones in Construction Startup Kit


11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Track: Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Speaker: Richard Lopez

Get started using UAVs to take measurements, conduct inspections, measure progress and communicate status more effectively with different stakeholders. Richard Lopez, Virtual Design and Construction Manager with Hensel Phelps Construction Company, will take you from A to Z ,starting with Flight Planning and which drones and software to start with and your Part 107 certification. You’ll move through getting approval from legal teams and managing risk, maintaining and using your equipment effectively, delivering data and training teams how to use it.

Drones in Construction, Aggregates & Mining: An End-User’s Perspective


2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

Track: Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Speakers: Chan Ahn, Andrew Carey, Richard Lopez, Andrew Suozzo

UAVs are proving themselves as useful tools on a construction or mining worksite, but integrating them into an in-house team or drone service business can prove challenging. This panel will cover worksite management tools and technologies, ways to quickly and safely analyze stockpiles, and best practices for planning, reporting and auditing needs. You will also learn tools and tips for streamlining your projects, ensuring efficient resource management and ultimately saving time and money.

Drones in Construction, Aggregates & Mining: Cutting-Edge Technology


3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Track: Construction, Aggregates and Mining

Moderator: TBD

Speakers: TBD

Drones and data analysis offer huge advantages in construction, aggregates and mining, including exploration, planning and operations. What tools are essential? Which technologies should you look out for?  This panel features vendors targeting the construction and aggregates and mining markets with solutions that help with everything from stockpile analysis to creating maps and models for planning.

Friday, September 7th

Do Drones Disturb Wildlife?


11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Track: All

Moderator: David Bird

Speakers: Dr. David Johnston, Jeff Sloan

Drones are being embraced more and more by biologists and conservationists all over the world as a useful tool to count, detect, track and observe wildlife. However, not all agree with their use. Some feel that these sometimes noisy machines can pose a hazard to wildlife and they want their use curtailed through stricter regulations or even banned in some places. This panel, composed of experts using drones to study wildlife, will discuss the pros and cons of adopting these machines for this purpose and what steps we must take to make more effective use of the technology. During the discussion, you will also learn about the latest successes (and failures) in their use.

Drones and the Power of Artificial Intelligence


11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Track: All

Moderator: Miram McNabb

Speakers: Jaime Machuca

Drones and Artificial Intelligence seem to go hand in hand now, and it’s easy to see why. With computer vision technology capable of collision avoidance, and systems smart enough to learn and operate on behalf of the human operator, AI could be the conduit for safely and reliably integrating drones into our National Airspace System (NAS) and the path to expanding flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The use cases are endless as are the opportunities. Learn about them and more in this panel.

Insights from Images: How Drones and Image-Based Mapping and analytics are Transforming the Mining Industry


1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

Track: Construction, Aggregates and Mining | Business

Speaker: Matthieu Lefebvre

The mining industry is being rushed by a challenging macroeconomic environment, pushing the C-suite and managers to transform their businesses to mine smarter. The digital can help in this matter as it unlocks real business value by empowering executives to make better decisions, faster, safer and cheaper. Drones and image-based mapping are proving to reinvent the day-to-day businesses on mining sites. Smart mines in practice with drones and images are impacting asset lifecycle management, operational risk and compliance management, as well as supply chain management. Higher business impact can be achieved through in-house drone and image-based end-to-end solutions fully integrated into the enterprise systems. Going this way to the next level with a scaled enterprise-wide integration can help driving the competitive advantage and secure the profitability for businesses in this challenging mining industry.