2023 Monterey Bay DART Symposium Unites Industry, Academia, Government and Communities


Marina, CA, November 7, 2023 – The 2023 DART Symposium, held at the CSUMB University Center from October 11th to October 13th, concluded successfully, marking a milestone event in the world of Advanced Air Mobility, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Agricultural Technology, and Inclusive Economic Development. With a diverse range of insightful discussions, workshops, and notable speakers, the symposium lived up to its promise of facilitating collaboration, knowledge sharing, and inclusive cross-sector engagement.

**Day 1 – Community Integration**

The first day of the symposium kicked off with an enlightening Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Short-Course, hosted by the Community Air Mobility Initiative. This workshop provided state and local decision-makers, agency staff, urban and transportation planners, and interested individuals with a comprehensive introduction to the emerging world of advanced air mobility.

Symposium participants had the exclusive opportunity to join the Joby Aviation at Marina tour, gaining a behind-the-scenes look at Joby Aviation’s advanced manufacturing facilities at the Marina Municipal Airport.

At lunch, Josh Metz, Executive Director of MBDART, and Ken Smith, Lead Organizer of the Salinas Inclusive Economic Development Initiative, extended a warm welcome to all attendees. Senator Anna Caballero, California State Senate District 14,  shared her insights on the importance of AAM to the California economy and to the Salinas Valley workforce.

In the afternoon, the Community Integration – Economic & Workforce Development Workshop brought together various stakeholders to discuss economic and workforce development opportunities and challenges related to advanced air mobility and agricultural technology adoption. The day concluded with the Airspace Integration Corridors & Central Coast Flight Information Exchange Workshop, exploring the potential for establishing safe and secure UAS integration corridors in California.

**Day 2 – AAM & UAS Economic Development Opportunities**

The second day commenced with a hearty breakfast and registration, followed by welcoming remarks by CSUMB College of Business Dean, Dr. Marylou Shockley. Matt Field, Chief Financial Officer at Joby Aviation, delivered an insightful keynote focused on Joby Aviation’s development and implementation pathway.

Two engaging panels delved into supporting continued AAM development (Moderated by MBDART Strategic Advisor/COO, Shari Tavaf), and the creation and management of airspace innovation corridors (Moderated by MBDART Co-Founder, Chris Bley). Notable industry leaders and experts led these discussions, shedding light on the state of research and development and the importance of innovation corridors.

The day continued with a featured, all-female leader panel (moderated by Community Air Mobility Initiative Executive Director, Yolanka Wulff), discussing government’s role in supporting AAM innovation and safety, followed by discussions on infrastructure, vertiports, and test facilities (moderated by UC Berkeley transportation futurist and researcher, Adam Cohen). Following that informative session, Fireside Chat with Carol Dietrich, Founder & President @Jump Aero Inc. and Dean Donovan, Partner @Diamond Stream Partners. Rounding out the day with exploring new return on investment opportunities in the AAM market (moderated by CSUMB College of Business Professor, Dr. Jennifer Kuan).

The evening concluded with a Networking Reception at the University Center, allowing participants to build valuable connections.

**Day 3 – Partnerships & Workforce Development**

The final day began with breakfast and registration, followed by an inspiring keynote from Daniel Theobald, Co-Founder & President of MassRobotics,  setting the stage for discussions on agtech innovation and workforce development.

Panel discussions on public-private workforce development partnerships and community partners in workforce and economic development highlighted the importance of collaboration in nurturing talent and creating economic opportunities.

The symposium concluded with closing remarks, emphasizing the significance of partnerships and workforce development in the rapidly evolving AAM and UAS industries.

The 2023 DART Symposium was a resounding success, with participants and speakers leaving with a deeper understanding of the potential and challenges of the AAM and UAS sectors. The event fostered collaboration among industry experts, government officials, and community leaders, paving the way for a more connected and innovative future.

For more information about the 2023 DART Symposium and upcoming events, please visit https://montereybaydart.org/symposium/.


**Contact Information:**

Josh Metz Executive Director Monterey Bay DART (831) 254-8299

Our Sponsors and Partners

2022 Monterey Bay DART Symposium Reaches New Heights

Monterey Bay Drone Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) held a symposium at the University Center of California State University’s Monterey Bay (CSUMB) campus, Nov 30 – Dec 1, 2022. Nearly 200 attendees enjoyed two days of compelling panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities. This year’s event was rich with collaboration, connections, and vision for a more robust and inclusive future.

Attendees heard from industry leaders, legislators, educators, and philanthropists on topics like:

  • Air taxis to logistics: what’s new in Advanced Air Mobility
  • Building an advanced aviation workforce
  • Enabling Innovation: Ecosystems, Districts & Facilities
  • Agriculture & Utilities Innovation & Economic Opportunity
  •  Innovation thru Inclusive Economic Development

“The Monterey Bay DART team is so grateful to our speakers, sponsors, and attendees,” said Joshua Metz, Executive Director and Co-founder of Monterey Bay DART. “These events are key to bringing the right people together to build the foundation for a stronger, more inclusive economy that leverages these budding technologies.”

Event videos and copies of presentations are available HERE. To sign up for the DART mailing list for occasional updates on drones, automation, and robotics technology, please click HERE.

Our Sponsors and Partners

Central Coast Flight Information Xchange

The CITRIS Institute for Drone education and Research (CIDER) at the University of California at Santa Cruz, in partnership with Monterey Bay Drone Automation and Robotics Technologies (DART), Airspace Integration, and ATA LLC, is developing the Central Coast Flight Information Exchange (CC-FIX). CC-FIX is a risk-based, federated approach to creating an “aeronautical information service-like” capability for the integration of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) into the airspace with the continued commitment to keep the airspace open, secure, and safe.  This coalition believes that a functional CC-FIX will accelerate UAS and AAM related R&D, providing significant economic development opportunities for Central California and communities across the state. 

The Central Coast Flight Information Exchange (CC-FIX) integrates federal laws and regulations, state and local advisories, public safety advisories, environmental sensors, weather sensors, data feeds, operations platforms, surveillance technologies and ground hazards (i.e. towers, buildings, population centers, etc.) through a public platform. Rather than needing to go to multiple places to access this important data, every person using a flight planning application that has a relationship with one of the participating approved UAS Service Suppliers will see CC-FIX data in their flight planning or control software or through the CC-FIX public website.  That brings all this critical information together making it available in one place.  If you ask any operator, especially in the public safety community, this is a huge leap forward in the communications and coordination needed to ensure that we take full advantage of the opportunities created by AAM and to integrate with the national airspace system safely.

FAA Airspace Guidelines for UAS Operators

The speed with which the UAS and AAM industry is developing continues to surprise and is putting pressure on needed changes to the fundamentals of aviation management. The FAA recognizes this in both its UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Concept of Operations (ConOps) and through the UAS Data Exchange Low Altitude Approval Notification Capability (LAANC) program; both of which acknowledge that existing air traffic management models alone do not adequately address the challenge of integrating UAS and other AAM transportation modalities into the national airspace. We’ve discovered through our current work that the best way to realize the infrastructure needed is to do it in a collaborative manner, working public-private partnerships across the industry and encouraging the creation of new relationships.  This way we can actually get to UAS and AAM operations at scale much more quickly in a more cost-effective and resilient manner. 

CC-FIX Data Model

CC-FIX allows for multiple ways to connect and share information, including web-based and programmatic alternatives. The system is intentionally designed to leverage current standards, open-source technologies, and existing background intellectual property to keep costs low. As a robust, cloud-based service, the technology underlying CC-FIX can quickly meet growing statewide and national demand. The intuitive user interface requires only a brief orientation during new user onboarding. CC-FIX is consistent with the FAA’s vision of a “community-based” system of industry, federal, and state and local governments cooperating to manage the anticipated heavy volumes of UAS traffic at low altitudes. CC-FIX sits at the center of this ecosystem enabling USS and commercial UTM providers to consume and share authoritative state data as a public service.

URL for the Central Coast Flight Information Exchange (CC-FIX): http://cc-fix.com/

Coalition Partner Contacts:

University of California – Santa Cruz
Michael Matkin
Assistant Director
CITRIS and the Banatao Institute
Baskin School of Engineering
(831) 459-4464

Monterey Bay DART
Josh Metz, Executive Director
(831) 264-8299

Airspace Integration
Chris Bley, CEO
(831) 428-6655

Scott Drew, UAS Project Manager
(804) 814-8148