Forsyth County leaders approve AeroX strategic plan

Business and government leaders have approved a strategic plan for AeroX to accelerate the commercialization of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) technologies and create a national model for advanced air mobility in (AAM) in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina.

The aviation industry sits at the cusp of the most transformative set of innovations in its 100-year history. The commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) will transform the way high-value cargo, including passengers, is delivered, as well as “last-mile” packages for ecommerce. Integration of advanced imaging and data analytics payloads will simplify operations and reduce costs for virtually every industry.

By positioning the region as the recognized leader in technologies, the AeroX team hopes to attract a variety of pioneering new companies that will launch and establish operations locally, creating high-value jobs for the future. The region is uniquely positioned to lead the way with an established ecosystem of partners to support AAM, two premier medical institutions already using commercial UAS and Smith Reynolds Airport, providing an ideal location for testing AAM solutions.

AeroX will pursue three strategies over the next three years to build the foundation for AAM innovation in Forsyth County: build America’s first urban advanced unmanned aviation system, grow the AAM innovation ecosystem and create and organization to lead the effort.

The AeroX Advisory Council reviewed and provided feedback on a draft plan in February that was developed and presented by Hovecon LLC, the AAM consulting hired to manage AeroX and implement the strategic plan.

AeroX presented its plan to partner nonprofit Greater Winston-Salem Inc. in March and to Forsyth County Board of Commissioners at a public meeting in April. Both endorsed the plan. County commissioners approved funding for Hovecon to begin implementation, including preparing an application to work with NASA on an AAM project and to develop a concept of operations for a Winston Salem unmanned traffic management system.

AeroX is a nonprofit organization of business, government and community partners focused on creating a national model ecosystem for advanced air mobility ecosystem in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina. For more information, visit