Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, announced today the launch of the first Spaceport America Drone Summit to be held at Spaceport America in Southern New Mexico from March 12-14, 2016.

“We are thrilled to host this exciting and educational summit for small drones at Spaceport America,” said Spaceport America CEO Christine Anderson. “Our 12,000-foot spaceway and north campus are perfect for this type of multifaceted event and can easily accommodate thousands of participants.”

Over 1,000 attendees are expected for the three-day conference and small drone racing event designed to help drone pilots measure their skills in a quantitative way. Small drones are classified by the FAA as those weighing a maximum of 55 pounds flying at a maximum altitude of 400 feet. Bringing together drone pilots and enthusiasts, film and other industry professionals and spectators from around the world, the Spaceport America Drone Summit offers an action-packed agenda featuring:

– Three drone race categories and race tracks; obstacle, cinematography and freestyle
– Speakers from both the film and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) industries
– Demos and workshops teaching practical skills
– Drone industry vendors from across the USA
– Screenings of leading-edge footage and movies shot with drones

“Our race program has been designed to test pilots abilities based on speed, safety, and navigation around obstacles,” said Chief Pilot DroneU™ Paul Aitken. “As well, a panel of experts will be judging aerial footage shot and edited on the spot.”

“Small drone use in filmmaking allows directors to shoot scenes that were previously impossible,” emphasized Jon Hendry, Member of the Board, New Mexico Filmmakers Give Back. “The Spaceport America Drone Summit will demonstrate how drone use is changing the way movies are made and premiere stunning aerial cinematography.”

Speaker and workshop content about the use of small drones with video capability is targeted to an audience of professionals, hobbyists and amateur drone pilots in the fields of engineering, construction, development, ranching and farming, cinematography, weddings, government, oil and gas and real estate, among others.

Conference registration sales began today at For information regarding sponsorship and vendor opportunities please contact

About Spaceport America
Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, boasts 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340+ days of sunshine and low humidity. Two of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are now tenants at Spaceport America; Virgin Galactic and SpaceX. Visit and follow us on Twitter: @Spaceport_NM

About DroneU
At Drone U, our mission is to provide a vast array of the most important and impactful knowledge, techniques and skills in the UAV market to any and all that wish to become pilots, or turn their passion into profit. We take a logical, experiential, no-nonsense approach to training and educating our community of enthusiasts. Our goal is to be the ultimate one-stop destination for anyone that has an interest in, or questions about, UAV operations and flight. We strive to maintain a truthful, unbiased compendium of knowledge through original content, product reviews, tips, tricks, techniques, community forums, webinars, interviews, courses, business strategies and expert advice. Visit

About New Mexico Filmmakers Give Back
New Mexico Film Makers Give Back is the community outreach program of New Mexico’s Film Technicians, working to create good jobs through sustainable economic development.