Mark Blanks is the director of the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) where he leads both the FAA-designated UAS Test Site and a UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP). He has built successful UAS research programs at multiple universities, leveraging his extensive background in aircraft maintenance, flight test, and certification. Mr. Blanks joined Virginia Tech in August 2015, and has guided MAAP through remarkable growth while overseeing and expanding a substantial portfolio of operations and research. He plays an active role in policy and advocacy, serving on multiple unmanned systems-related boards––including recently completing a term on the AUVSI board––and chairing an ASTM subcommittee on UAS Flight Operations. Mr. Blanks is an instrument-rated pilot and aircraft mechanic.
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