Jun 30, 2020

A New Normal – The Advancement of Unmanned Systems in a COVID-19 World

The Unmanned Systems Association of Virginia and McGuireWoods Consulting, with experts from across the unmanned systems sectors, held a discussion on how COVID-19 is spurring the growth of unmanned systems and how, and what, policies can help continue to advance the economic success of the industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


  • Virginia’s efforts to lead the advancement of unmanned technologies
  • Contactless delivery in a COVID-19 world
  • U.S. DOT’s proposal to clarify AV ambiguities
  • Broadband and spectrum
  • FAA’s proposed rulemaking to integrate UAS into the airspace
  • Advances in maritime unmanned systems
  • Higher education's role in advancing these systems

Presentation Materials



  • The Honorable Shannon Valentine, Virginia Secretary of Transportation
  • Anthony Wood, Virginia Information Technologies Agency – Innovation Program

Welcome Remarks 

  • The Honorable Karen Jackson, New College Institute

Representatives from across all sectors of unmanned systems including ground, air and maritime

  • Nicole Barranco, Volkswagen Group of America
  • Janet Webster, Clark Nexsen
  • Nick Swayne, James Madison University
  • Gregory Walden, Small UAV Coalition
  • Nathaniel Robie, Dominion Energy
  • Nicholas Devereux, Wing
  • Mark Blanks, Virginia Tech
  • Brian McKeon, Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • John Padgett, McGuireWoods LLP
  • Eric Weisel, Ph.D, Old Dominion University
  • Amazon Corp LLC (Invited)


  • Michele Satterlund, McGuireWoods Consulting