James Bell
Innovation Strategy Lead

With over 10 years of experience in the aerospace engineering and innovation sector, James Bell is passionate about driving positive change and creating value for the aviation industry and society. As an Innovation Strategy Lead at Civil Aviation Authority, he oversees the development and implementation of the innovation strategy, vision, and roadmap, aligning them with the organization's mission, values, and objectives. He bring s diverse perspectives and experiences to the team, having worked in different roles and sectors, including in central government, and as an Airwards Judge.

Ekaterina Andreeva​​​​
Head of Business Development ‑ Cargo

With over 12 years of expertise in the air cargo industry, Ekaterina is currently the Head of Business Development for Cargo at Chapman Freeborn Airchartering since 2022. Previously, Ekaterina held various management roles at Volga-Dnepr Group from 2012 to 2022. Ekaterina has a deep understanding of the latest cargo airlines developments and challenges, as well as current industry requirements.

Max Scheck
Captain B747 - Chairman, Unmanned Aircraft Systems WG, ECA Piloting Safety

Max Scheck is a Captain on the Boeing 747, chairman of the Unmanned Aircrafts Systems Working Group and the Reduced Crew Operations Task Force at The European Cockpit Association

Arpad Szakal
Aviation & Aerospace Sector Lead

As a dynamic executive search and assessment professional, Arpad brings extensive experience in recruiting at mid to senior levels for a diverse range of clients, including FTSE 250 and internationally quoted organizations, as well as private equity-backed companies. His background in aviation law has provided him with specialized expertise in engineering, logistics, and infrastructure sectors. Arpad possess strong skills in recruiting, relationship management, client consulting, and influencing. Additionally, he excels in talent/market mapping, pipelining, succession planning, and internal candidate assessment. Fluent in English, German, Hungarian, and conversational Spanish, he is also an ICF certified Executive and Business coach, further enhancing his ability to guide and develop executive talent.

Naveed Kapadia
Senior Aviation Lecturer

Naveed is a distinguished senior aviation professional with extensive expertise in diverse airline operations, emphasising innovative design, flight crew training, and human performance research. With an EASA qualification and a Master's in Air Transport Management, he has held pivotal leadership positions in international airlines and flight training schools across APAC, MENA, and Europe. Naveed's unwavering commitment to safety is evident through his active participation in the flight operations safety group at the Royal Aeronautical Society, alongside his role as a senior aviation lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University. His unique combination of hands-on experience and theoretical proficiency establishes him as a pioneer in influencing the future of advanced air mobility and emerging aviation technologies.

John McKenna
Chief Executive Officer

John McKenna, CEO of Sees. ai , UK based, Boeing, Tawazun and Techstars backed business developing core technology to enable autonomous flight. Founded by a senior team ex. Apple, CERN, McLaren & hedge funds. Our connected & autonomous solution spans flight control, collision avoidance, vehicle management & safety management to enable safe autonomous take-off, navigation & landing. Selected into the UK CAA Regulatory Sandbox in 2019. We now hold one of the worlds most advanced BVLOS permissions.

Dr. Yemaya Bordain
President of the Americas

About Yemaya, she joined Daedalean in October 2022 to lead innovation, flight testing and partnerships. Previously, she spent seven years at Intel developing industry-leading advances in partnerships with top global OEMs including Lockheed-Martin Corporation, Collins Aerospace, Indra Sistemas, and Mercury Systems. Yemaya earned a BS in electrical engineering and an MS in computer science at Clark Atlanta University, and a PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Daedalean has been exploring the transformative potential of AI in aviation and would be pleased to share insights on the advantages AI brings and the revolutionary ways it can reshape missions.

Ross Seymour Kelly

Ross has a global mind set with a vast commercial and technical experience, and knowledge of international aerospace and defence business. This is after his experience of 13 years in the Royal Air Force plus 30 years in industry with BAE, EH Industries, AgustaWestland and Leonardo. He has fulfilled various business roles, leading teams to win new business with international customers. This includes major aerospace collaborations and industrial participation/offset programs. He has lived and worked in Milan, Italy on 2 occasions, Melbourne and Philadelphia in the USA, and Ankara in Turkiye. Ross is now enjoying his latest challenge as co-founder of the CargoTron PD250 Project – an eVTOL Cargo Drone.’

Fahad Ibne Masood
Safety Expert

Captain Fahad ibne Masood, a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (MRAeS), stands as an exemplary figure in the world of aviation. With over two decades of international aviation experience, his journey is marked by a relentless commitment to advancing the industry. Captain Masood's deep expertise encompasses various aviation domains, with a special emphasis on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Gokul Krishna

Military & Defense Professional

Mr. Gokul Srinivasan is an independent military and defense consultant working extensively with multiple government and military agencies spanning across the USA in the West, to Japan in the East. His area of expertise covers: Use of AI for aerial threat simulation (namely - swarming, red teaming and adversarial attacks) in both manned and unmanned platforms. Integration of AI for weapon systems & electronic warfare in simulation of wargames (LVC) and Testing and evaluation of CUAS platforms, especially applicable to urban environment and critical infrastructure protection

Philip Butterworth-Hayes
Editor & Publisher

Philip Butterworth-Hayes is a consultant and communications specialist working in the aerospace and defence sectors. He is the editor and publisher of EUROCONTROL’s Skyway publication (www.eurocontrol.int/content/skyway), the editor and publisher of www.unmannedairspace.info, www.globalairmobilitymarket.com and www.urbanairmobilitynews.com, a director of www.aam4gov.com and a member of the Board of Liaisons of the Advanced Air Mobility Institute (https://aaminstitute.org/team).

Andreas Tsangaris
Director of Flight Operations & Crew Training

Andreas Tsangaris is the Director of Flight Operations and Crew Training of Air Chateau with more than 40 years of experience in Aviation and 18000 flying hours. The company is the first company in the MeNA to place an order for 100 evtoll aircraft.

Guillermo Ochovo

Guillermo Ochovo is an accomplished professional with a strong educational background in engineering and business. He earned his B.S. in Materials Engineering, specializing in Aerospace Engineering, from the University of Washington in Seattle and a master’s in business administration from Boston University. In his role as Director at Cargo Facts Consulting, Guillermo has worked extensively on projects involving market research, financial analysis, and strategic planning. His proficiency in project management and analytical skills, along with his practical experience in aviation and global projects, empower him to offer significant value to clients.

Tom Graham
Director & Lead Consultant

As a specialized UAV/RPAS development consultancy, Tom focuses on intricate and predominantly BVLOS scenarios, as well as Solar HAPS. His expertise encompasses a range of services, including Flight Operations Management, Flight Test, Training Design and Delivery, Regulatory Implementation/SORA Expertise, Business Strategy, CONOPS, and Payload/Avionics Development Support/Integration. Having operated in over 14 countries, he has navigated complex and challenging environments, collaborating with governments, militaries, the IJN, and commercial clients while adhering to tight timelines. Tom's core competency lies in large, Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE), and Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) deployment and integration, although he has successfully worked with various systems, including sub-25kg Multi-Rotor and Fixed Wing. With EASA/U.K./FAA Commercial Pilot/ME/IR qualifications, Tom brings extensive expertise in MALE, Tactical, and High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) operations.

Jean-Marc Youkhana Ichard
Chief Executive Officer

Managing Director Jean-Marc Youkhana possesses extensive international experience and a comprehensive set of technical qualifications. After completing his avionic and on-board instrument technician training in 1991, Jean-Marc embarked on a 5-year maintenance apprenticeship, specializing in aircraft airframes, engines, and systems, ultimately earning a Technical Sales degree in 1997. From September 1998 to 2001, Jean-Marc assumed responsibility for business development and account management for all French-speaking helicopter operators in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East at H+S Aviation, contributing to the Rolls-Royce model 250 Program. In 2002, Jean-Marc founded Uplifting Aviation with the initial aim of offering commercial representation for companies involved in helicopter repair and overhaul. Over time, a secondary focus emerged, providing comprehensive commercial assistance globally, encompassing aircraft sales and purchases. Uplifting Aviation's enduring commitment to the founding ethos of technical expertise and entrepreneurial spirit positions the company competitively across all facets of the aeronautical market.

Yolanta Strikitsa
Managing Director

Yolanta Strikitsa manages Strikitsa Consulting, a global search and corporate governance advisory firm that specializes in assignments requiring a global reach and innovative thinking. The firm's clientele comprises private and public investors with portfolios in Aviation, Infrastructure, Hi-Tech, and Energy, most of whom are engaged in business or investments in Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. Strikitsa Consulting is dedicated to establishing Global Connections and providing support to clients in corporate governance and transformation initiatives. Yolanta is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with exceptional colleagues, clients, and candidates from around the world, acknowledging their significant contributions to the success of Strikitsa Consulting and her personal professional journey. The firm actively promotes diversity and inclusion, advocating for women's leadership within the industry. Beyond her business responsibilities, Yolanta participates in the IATA Program aiming to achieve 25% women in aviation management by 2025. She is a speaker at prominent events such as CAPA, Routes, ACI, AFSIC, and various national and global forums. Additionally, Yolanta is passionate about promoting dance, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle as part of her broader contributions to societal well-being.

Kirill Shilov
Founder & CEO

Founder and CEO of Sky-Drones Technologies Ltd, showcasing global expertise in digital technology and recognized as a Tech Nation CRDF Global Business Award recipient. Kirill holds an MSc in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on Flight Control from MIT Sloan School of Management, and a BSc in Applied Math and Physics. Kirill also holds a CAA Private Pilot license. With a pioneering role in the drone industry, he brings a wealth of scientific, engineering, and business experience. His professional journey includes past positions as an engineer at ACSL in Tokyo, Japan, and Perspective Robotics GmbH in Zürich, Switzerland.

John Drysdale
Business Development Manager

John joined The Shannon Airport Group in 2017 and now heads up the Shannon Aviation
Services Cluster. He is responsible for developing and promoting the aviation services
community, both on and off the airfield, which now has over eighty businesses and three
thousand employees. He is the industry mentor on the Industry Advisory Committee for the
Irish Aviation Students Council (IASA) and an aviation programme validation committee
member for the Technology University of the Shannon (TUS). John also sits on the Aviation
Industry advisory board at Dublin City University and has been a long-standing member of
the industry steering committee for the ICBE Aviation Skillnet. In addition to holding an
EASA Part 66 licensed aircraft Engineer, holds numerous technical and academic
qualifications/accreditations in Aviation and Business Leadership and is a recent graduate
from Dublin City University with a Master's Degree in Aviation Leadership. Within his role
within Shannon Airport Group, John is also the liaise with Future Mobility Campus Ireland
and he is also the organisation's drone operator with Specific Category Approval under

Marc Ferlet
Director, Marketing

Neil Cloughley
Founder & CEO

Darrell Swanson

Antonios Tsourdos
Director of Research for the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing

Antonios Tsourdos obtained an MEng on Electronic, Control and Systems Engineering from the University of Sheffield (1995), an MSc on Systems Engineering from Cardiff University (1996) and a PhD on Nonlinear Robust Flight Control Design and Analysis from Cranfield University (1999).He is a Professor of Autonomous Systems and Control with Cranfield University. He was appointed Head of the Autonomous Systems Group, Cranfield Defence and Security in 2007, Head of the Centre of Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems, School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing in 2012 and Director of Research - Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing in 2015.

Joe Walford
Class Underwriter

With six years of extensive insurance expertise in the Aerospace sector gained through roles at Catlin, XL Catlin, and AXA XL, Joe joined Convex in August 2020 as an Underwriter. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in English from Loughborough University and holding the prestigious ACII qualification.

Dr Viktoriia Ivannikova
Assistant Professor in Aviation Management

Dr Viktoriia Ivannikova is an Assistant Professor in Aviation Management at Dublin City University Business School with 15+ years of teaching and research experience in aviation management and aviation operations in Ireland and Ukraine. She is also an External Examiner for MSc in Airport Planning and Management at Cranfield University, UK. Viktoriia’s current research interests primarily focus on creating more sustainable and efficient air transport system of the future – with improved safety, security, efficiency, sustainability and customer experience. Viktoriia sits on the editorial board of the prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals “Transport”, “Aviation”, “Journal of Airline Operations and Aviation Management”. Viktoriia is a member of the Scientific Committee and Chairwoman of the section “Logistics and Transportation” of the Annual Scientific Conference “TRANSBALTICA: Transportation Science and Technology”, held by Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Vilnius, Lithuania). Dr Viktoriia is also a Member the Dublin City University Business School Research Committee. She is an International Expert of aviation and transport study programmes accreditation for two agencies: Independent Agency of Accreditation and Rating (IAAR) of Republic of Kazakhstan and National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance (NAQA) of Ukraine. She is author and co-author of four aviation books, numerous research papers in aviation management and regular speaker at international aviation conferences.

Sebastien Borel
Chief Commercial Officer

Sebastien Borel is Vice President Business at Lilium. Borel brings some 20 years of aerospace experience, having served at Airbus and Honeywell in various leadership positions. Borel started his career in Denver, CO with Jeppesen, a Boeing Company before joining an aerospace IT company in California. He then returned to France and joined Airbus in 2010 where he held various senior management positions to end as Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus’ subsidiary NAVBLUE. His last three years before Lilium were spent with Honeywell as Vice-President, Strategic Partnerships, M&A and Licensing in Europe. Borel holds commercial pilot licenses and attended the French Merchant Navy officer academy.

Sunil Budhdeo
Transport Innovation Manager

Sunil has over 40 years’ experience in the Traffic, Transport and ITS Industry. His roal as the Transport Innovation Manager at Coventry City has helped in development of new technology for transportation. Now venturing in to the latest mode of transportation of Electric-Vertical Take Of and Landing ( E-VTOL) Joined Coventry City council in 2010 as UTMC Manager, responsible for the UTMC , Highway Network Development team and Managing the Response and Monitoring services. Successfully implemented UK’S first 4G Mesh network in Coventry, introduced Pay On Display Machine, RTPI, CCTV, ANPR Cameras and Wireless Vehicle Detection that use the 4G Mash network for communication. Successfully completed various innovation project, funded by the European Union FP7, H2020 programme Coventry and Warwickshire LEP. Exploited the technology to secure funding for other CAV projects funded by Innovate UK and the DfT such as UK Autodrive, UK Cite and Parking Platform with other key partners. Supporting Coventry University with their transport related R&D projects. Delivered the first demonstration of an Autonomous vehicle driven on the streets of Coventry, introduced Micro Mobility as part of MaaS. Micro Mobility, intelligent Controlled /uncontrolled Crossing, Electrification of transport modes which will be operational in a city environment. Lead PM for Future Flights Projects such as Urban Airport (E-VTOL), delivering the world’s first in the City of Coventry. Currently engaged with BVLOS projects such as SKYWAY and various others. A member of the UTMC Standard and specification development group, working with various organisation to set standards in the emerging new modes of transport sector, TDI & TTF group and Chair of Yunex Traffic User group and the Siemens user group, the desire to be innovative and set a high standard within the Transport Sector carries on.

Andy Wallington
Consultant Aerospace Engineer

An aerospace certification, safety and airworthiness subject matter expert, Andy has over 30 years of experience working on numerous aircraft Type Certification projects with OEMs including Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Textron, and Gulfstream. As Project Engineer for the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 Propeller Electronic Controller in 1996, Andy was an early user of the ARP4754/ ARP4761 standards, starting when they were first published. He joined the S-18 committee (as an active member) in 2005. S-18 is responsible for developing and maintaining safety-related standards/ new guidance material, and has continued doing so for the last 30 years. Although most of Andy’s experience has been on new development TC/ ATC programs for Part 25 Commercial Transport Airplanes, he has also worked on Business Jets, Part 23 General Aviation, Part 27/ 29 Rotorcraft and AAM/ eVTOL Aircraft. He is familiar with FAA and EASA regulations, guidance material and policy, and has worked on TC/ ATC/ STC projects with a number of other regulatory authorities, including TCCA, ANAC, Swiss FOCA, UK CAA, CAAC amongst many others. Andy’s first experience at Boeing was from 2005 to 2011, when he was working for Smiths Aerospace, now part of GE Aviation, on the 787-8 Common Core System and Brake Control and Monitoring System. He is enjoying being back in Everett using his experience/ knowledge gained over the years in supporting the development of safety process, guidance and training materials going forward. Andy is living in Mill Creek, WA, with his wife Kate and the 2 'puppies' Aggie and DoatsieMae. In his spare time, apart from walking the pups, and going to the gym, Andy enjoys participating in Community Theatre, and watching Broadway shows at the 5th Avenue and Paramount Theatres. He also loves dance, especially Pacific Northwest Ballet, and, of course, the Seahawks and Husky football!

Julie Garland
Founder & CEO

Julie is the Founder and CEO of Avtrain - one of Europe’s leading drone training and consultancy organisations setting the standards for others to follow. She is a former Airline Training Captain, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Barrister at Law and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and President of JEDA- Joint European Drone Associations; prior to undertaking her position as CEO of Avtrain she was the Director Compliance for Norwegian Air International . She is the founding and current Vice-Chair of the Unmanned Aircraft Association of Ireland and sits on the Board of Directors of JEDA as the Irish representative and is the JEDA representative on JARUS – the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems where she is Vice-Chair of the JARUS Industry Stakeholder's Body Steering Committee.

Dr Chris Crockford

Dr Chris Crockford, is a twice failed European Space Agency Astronaut candidate. He holds a PhD in Geospatial Rendering Systems and an MBA in Corporate Strategy. He was the Business Development Director for McLaren the F1 team between 2008 and 2012, including one World Championship win. He has extensive experiences working in the tech sector from complex IT and Satellite systems through to medical devices. He has run Digital & Future Technologies Limited for the last 20 years providing technology solutions to a wide range of clients from the medical industry to aviation. He holds multiple patents regarding Drones and has amassed over 1000 kilometres of Drone Flight. He is an Instrument Rated Seaplane Pilot.

Sapan Shah
Director of Product Management

Honeywell is one of several companies developing autonomous systems that use multiple sensors to detect and track moving obstacles. Engineers are trying to design these systems to quickly analyze data from the sensors and then guide onboard flight control systems to avoid the obstacles. Building machines that can identify potential obstacles under infinite flight scenarios and respond safely will be extremely challenging

Simon Meakins
Director of Advanced Air Mobility

Simon Meakins is the Director of Advanced Air Mobility for Bristow Group in the EAMEA region. During his career of more than 25 years in vertical aviation, he has flown, commanded and instructed on numerous helicopter types in the UK Royal Air Force and latterly in commercial operations. He has held managerial positions including Vice President, Accountable Manager and Flight Operations Post Holder for commercial and private aviation companies. In his role with Bristow Group, the leader in global vertical flight solutions, he is excited to be responsible for the introduction of AAM aircraft into Bristow operations in the EAMEA region.

Philip Binks
Head of ATM

Ian Kiely

Drone Space Ireland is a leading provider of drone consultancy services. With years of experience and expertise, we offer a range of solutions in the field of audio visual consulting, business development, business management, engineering, image consulting, research, product development, and technical services. Our team of professionals is dedicated to delivering high-quality results and exceeding client expectations.



Unmanned Systems Technology.com (UST) is dedicated to technology and innovation within unmanned systems. Our website and weekly e-newsletter provide up-to-the-minute information about technological developments in this sector – both military and commercial – to a global audience, with over 80,000 visitors from over 200 countries every month. Our comprehensive supplier profiles showcase products, services and capabilities in the unmanned land, sea and air vehicle industry.



  • The public perception

  • The impact of pilotless aviation

  • Integration into existing air traffic management systems

  • Coordination with traditional piloted aircraft


Key Elements


Main Plenary Session

Discussing only practical key issues with real insights


2m x 2m Locations

Featuring the key global prototypes
Hospitality Networking Receptions


  • Public acceptance
  • No backup human systems
  • Capacity, cost, and environmental benefits
  • AI systems implications
  • Regulatory hurdles to adoption
  • Autonomous Cargo Aircraft                                            


Explore the Future of Aviation: Pilotless Cargo and Civil Aircraft.
Join cutting-edge advancements around the potential of pilotless aircraft in the cargo and civil aviation sectors.
Analyse how technology and automation are enhancing safety, efficiency and operational capabilities.