Interior Dept’s ‘Drone Meister’ discusses UAS past and future- DroneDJ
If a single person were to be designed the “Drone Meister” of US government aerial operations, it might well be Mark Bathrick – the recently retired director of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Aviation Services (OAS), who assembled and oversaw the increasingly diversified use of the world’s largest fleet of non-military UAS. Creator of the agency’s “Drones for Good” program, Bathrick spoke to DroneDJ about how those operations evolved over the past two decades and how it’s likely to continue in the future.
A career Navy fighter pilot who also flew countless high-risk experimental test flights, Bathrick retired from the armed forces directly into a senior executive government job in 2005, when he began his 16-year stint with the Department of the Interior (DOI). As head of its OAS program, Bathrick brought along his Naval “reputation of identifying things that needed improvement – technology opportunities – and relentless…