Darshan Divakaran is a UAS technology evangelist with expertise in unmanned aviation, flight operations, airborne safety, remote sensing, geospatial analysis and program management. His areas of expertise include Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), Counter-UAS (CUAS) and Urban Air Mobility. In his consulting role as UAS Program Engineer with NC Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Division of Aviation, he is the subject matter expert on unmanned aviation for the North Carolina Governor’s office, legislature, state agencies and public safety organizations. In this role, Darshan leads efforts to work with federal government, state & local agencies, public safety agencies, industries and academia to integrate a statewide UAS. He also leads the flight operations and airborne safety during natural disaster and emergency response for the state with focus on post-hurricane infrastructure inspection and airspace deconfliction. In addition to his many roles he also overlooks the flight operations safety for North Carolinas UAS Integration Pilot Program that focuses on medical & standard package delivery and infrastructure inspections under NCDOT.
Key focus of his efforts has been to provide state and local governments the appropriate tools to create and manage UAS programs to support their specific operational needs. He has conducted extensive research on UAS applications and has educated agencies on its benefits. Darshan currently serves on boards and committees of national organizations that create safety standards and best practices for both commercial and public safety agencies. In addition, he is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Standing Committee on Aviation Security and Emergency Management. Darshan holds a Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology degree from North Carolina State University and BS in Professional Aeronautics (with minor in Aviation Management) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also an FAA certified commercial pilot with multi-engine rating and holds a FAA part 107 remote pilot certificate.