Darshan Divakaran is a technology evangelist, intrapreneur, aviator and keynote speaker with expertise in unmanned aviation, aviation development, flight operations, airborne safety, remote sensing, geospatial analysis and program management. He is presently an Executive Aviation Consultant for Aerospace Arizona Association. 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. Earlier he was an Executive Aviation Consultant for NC Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Division of Aviation. In his consulting role with NCDOT, Darshan was the subject matter expert on unmanned aviation for the state agencies and public safety organizations. He also led 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 overlooked the flight operations safety for North Carolinas UAS Integration Pilot Program that focused on medical & standard package delivery and infrastructure inspections under NCDOT.
Darshan has been recognized by Interdrone and Commercial UAV News as one of the top commercial drone visionaries in the world. His areas of expertise in unmanned aviation also include Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), Counter-UAS (CUAS) and Urban Air Mobility. Darshan is also the founder and president of Airavat LLC, a company that provides UAS program management and training support to commercial companies and government agencies in the United States and abroad. He has conducted extensive research and outreach on UAS applications and has educated federal, state and local government agencies in the United States and abroad on its benefits. He currently serves on boards and committees of national organizations like TRB, UAST, AUVSI, ASTM, APSA, ANSI, NFPA, ASPRS, NASA etc. that create safety standards and best practices for unmanned aviation for both commercial companies and government agencies. In addition, he is a member of the US Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Aviation Security and Emergency Management. He also serves as adjunct faculty at North Carolina State University. He is also the founding president of AUVSI North Carolina Chapter that focuses on all things unmanned for the state.
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 multiengine rating and holds a FAA part 107 remote pilot certificate.