Teal Drones Golden Eagle | Credit:
In March 2022, Teal Drones founder and CEO George Matus announced that he and his team had developed a high-performance reconnaissance drone that can easily fit into a backpack and help keep ground troops safe. Their high-tech drones called "Golden Eagles" could be used as a tool to look around corners or over the next hill. Matus had announced that Teal was awarded a contract to supply its Golden Eagle drones to Ukraine.

“Teal is one of the only companies in the world that is able to provide that, at scale, now with its technology, manufacturing and resources,” Matus said. “And I have no doubt that the technology will help save a lot of lives.” With companies like Teal, Utah's drone industry continues to innovate and find solutions for critical issues that face our communities both locally and globally.

In May 2022, Walmart announced its plans to bring its drone delivery service to several stores across the United States, including right here in Utah. Participating stores would house a DroneUp delivery hub inclusive of a team of certified pilots, operating within FAA guidelines, that safely manage flight operations for deliveries, according to the company.

Once a customer places an order, the item will be fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone and delivered right to their yard using a cable that gently lowers the package. While the system is not currently operational in Utah just yet, Walmart also plans to allow local businesses and municipalities to use its drone infrastructure for “areas like insurance, emergency response and real estate."
Then-Utah Aeronautics Director Jared Esselman and former Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta discussing the future of aviation at the first-ever Utah Aeronautics Conference in May 2022. 
Also in May 2022, the Utah Division of Aeronautics hosted its first-ever Utah Aeronautics Conference. The three-day event was a huge success, with over 500 aviation professionals, state and local officials, mechanics, engineers, planners, students and industry leaders came together to improve safety, network, share best practices and foster collaboration.
In June 2022, the future of advanced air mobility in Utah came even closer to reality. The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity awarded up to $69 million in future tax incentives to Logan-based Electric Power Systems (EPS). EPS announced their plans to produce batteries for flying cars and other aerospace applications at a newly built 700,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in the Logan area. They also plan to hire as many as 3,100 new employees over the next nine years. 

CEO Nathan Millecam said EPS has more experience than anyone in designing battery systems capable of powering aircraft, including small, car-size craft. “We call them electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles.” The company currently employs 135 people in Logan. It sells battery power systems to Boeing, NASA and Bell helicopters, among other industry leaders. 

EPS spokesperson Abbie Bean said the 3,100 jobs, which will be phased in over nine years, will have an average wage of $75,000 a year plus benefits. “We are also building our own electric aircraft and will have a first flight hopefully this year, and that is being built at our facility in Logan,” she added.
Architectural rendering of a vertiport design. Credit: Uber Elevate

Also in June 2022, researchers at Utah State University (USU), led by Dr. Brent Chamberlain, released a study funded by UDOT that showed which areas across Utah’s Wasatch Front would be ideal for citing vertiports. Using geospatial mapping software, researchers created visualization tools intended to inform land use and zoning decisions made by state and local officials and private-sector companies. The criteria used to determine which locations would be conducive to vertiports consisted of five categories:

  • Built environment
  • Natural environment
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Technological limitations
  • Community and social values

The USU research team recently kicked off a workshop series intended to build on the report’s findings by further exploring the future of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) in Utah. The purpose of the workshop series is to identify and create a shared community planning process to identify feasible vertiports locations. At the end of this workshop series, researchers will create a first-ever guidebook for state and local decision makers that includes additional robust mapping data for vertiport citing.


In September 2022, Utah-based Fortem Technologies announced that it would work with Smart Communication Systems to provide counter-drone solutions to defense and security clients, with initial installation for the Qatari Ministry of Interior for the FIFA World Cup events.

“The Government of Qatar understands the importance of providing comprehensive security from the ground to the air for the FIFA World Cup matches and beyond,” said Timothy Bean, CEO of Fortem Technologies. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with Smart Communication Systems to provide the best counter-drone security to ensure the safety of players, sports fans, and everyone involved in putting together one of the most viewed global events in decades.”

The Fortem SkyDome® System is an award winning, end-to-end, counter UAS solution that detects, defeats, and protects against rogue drones. The SkyDome system classifies threats and mitigates them autonomously with its interceptor drone, DroneHunter®. At the heart of the Fortem SkyDome System is TrueView® radar, a compact, AI-enabled, networkable radar designed to perform in urban environments and crowded, public places such as sports arenas and airports.

Zipline drone delivery service in Utah | Credit: Zipline
In October 2022, Zipline announced that it had partnered with Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare to begin delivering medicine via drone right to patient’s yards in Salt Lake County. The company anticipates that in the next five years, its service area will extend to more than one million people. 

“This partnership allows us to reach patients faster than we ever thought possible, at a time that’s convenient for them,” said Gordon Slade, associate vice president of supply chain logistics at Intermountain Healthcare. “Combined with our telehealth services like Connect Care, it’s possible to virtually see a doctor and get medication you need delivered from Zipline, without having to travel to a clinic or the hospital.”

Zipline’s fixed-wing, fully autonomous aircraft operates quietly and releases packages directly to a patient’s yard. Zipline’s aircrafts can fly up to a 50-mile radius in most weather conditions, including rain, wind, and extreme temperatures. Each flight produces up to 98% less CO2 emissions than a combustion engine vehicle, according to company estimates. These environmental benefits are particularly important along Utah’s Wasatch Front, where air quality has been a major issue. 
Image from the Utah AAM Infrastructure and Regulatory Study | Credit: Utah Division of Aeronautics
In December 2022, Utah's Advanced Air Mobility Working Group released its findings on the future of AAM in Utah. Composed of state and local policymakers, private-sector industry experts and representatives from non-profit organizations, the working group had met regularly last year to study the development and implementation of a future AAM system in the state. Here's what they found:
  • With significant assets already in place, Utah is well positioned to embrace AAM.
  • With its statewide fiber optics and road weather information systems, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is a national leader in innovation.
  • Airports in Utah are already starting to prepare for vertiport design and electrification.
  • AAM presents clear and compelling economic and environmental benefits. 
  • State and local regulations related to land use, zoning and airspace will need to be enacted. 
  • Utah does not need to wait for a national solution prior to taking initial steps towards establishing an AAM system.


Deseret UAS is a non-profit corporation created jointly by Tooele and Box Elder Counties, in close partnership with Ogden City. As the premier organization in Utah dedicated to Advanced Air Mobililty (AAM), Deseret UAS provides unparalleled access to several large flight test ranges with miles of wide-open land and air. We offer active commercial UAS/AAM flight test ranges, foster applied research, and provide a centralized source of information on AAM in Utah.
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