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ARC Executive Team

Prof Ron Bartsch

Prof Ron Bartsch

President - Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium

Ron is the Chairman of AvLaw Pty Ltd and AvLaw International Pty Ltd and a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Board Safety and Risk Management Committee at Regional Express Airlines (REX).  Ron has previously held senior management roles in the Aviation industry including as the Former Head of Safety for Qantas Airways Limited and the Former Manager Airline Operations for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Ron has published a thesis on the legal and regulatory aspects of RPAS operations (University of Sydney, 2016), is the Author of 8 publications on aviation law including Drones in Society (Coyne/Gray), International Aviation Law & Aviation Law in Australia (5th ed), and is a lecturer in International Aviation Law and Australian Aviation Law at University NSW and the ANU.  Ron was admitted as a Barrister to the High Court of Australia in 1992 and was the aviation specialist and a Presiding Member of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal (2013-17). Ron’s flying experience includes holding an Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL) with over 7,000 hours, ratings on over 20 multi-engine aircraft including Boeing 717 and Beechjet, 40 years aviation industry experience including Chief Pilot, Chief Flying Instructor, safety regulator, airline executive, and aviation consultant.

John Hildebrand

John Hildebrand

Managing Director - Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium

John has 30 years of law enforcement experience in both operational and management roles.  In 2017, John was the Senior Project Officer role for the counter drone capability for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.  With partners from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Defence Force (ADF), John developed the first ever counter drone capability for a Commonwealth Games and the first of its type worldwide, winning a Queensland Police Commissioner’s Award for Excellence.  Post the Commonwealth Games, John founded Counter Drone Solutions Pty Ltd, a company that provides end to end counter drone solutions for clients in the global market and has completed multiple operational deployments including for prisons and airports.  In 2018 John was awarded a contract with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to conduct a drone surveillance sweep of primary airports in Australia and complete comprehensive analysis and compliance reports. John has also been a commercial drone operator since 2014, holds a Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) and Remote Operators Certificate (ReOC) with a CASA training approval. John also holds a commercial fixed wing pilots licence with a base at Archerfield Airport.

Gary Bowman

Gary Bowman

Director & Head of Strategy - Asia Pacific RPAS Consortium

Gary has over 15 years of experience in consulting and academia specialising in the areas of strategy and risk.  He has consulted widely across the private and public sector, working on projects for multinational enterprises across a range of industries and for multiple levels of government. Gary’s doctoral research was in the field of strategic management and focuses on the role of scenario analysis in long-term strategic planning. His postdoctoral research focused on risk, developing a global risk analysis methodology to assess the potential impact of socio-economic catastrophes. As a senior academic at Bond University, Gary continues to publish his research on strategy and risk in world leading academic journals. Gary holds a MA (Hons) and PhD from the University of St Andrews (UK) and was the Cambridge-Singapore Risk Fellow at the University of Cambridge (UK).

Nigel Meadows

Nigel Meadows

Director - Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium

Nigel is an experienced drone pilot in both military and civilian roles and has performed functions as a Chief Remote Pilot, Instructor, Senior Pilot, and Flight Operations Manager with responsibilities for training, quality assistance, and crew selection.  In his civilian capacity, Nigel was employed by Institu Pacific from 2011-2016 as the Chief Remote Pilot. In his military capacity, Nigel spent 21 years in the RAAF and 9 years in the RAF where he was a senior pilot and flight instructor in both the British and Australian Air Forces operating the Heron UAV. Nigel completed 30+ months’ continuous combat operations on MQ-9 Reaper and completed four combat tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. In total, Nigel has over 12 years of specialised drone operations in both small and large categories with more than 1000 hours as a Pilot in Command of large drones.  He also has fast jet experience.

Hon Duncan Gay

Hon Duncan Gay

Director - Asia-Pacific RPAS Consortium

Duncan was a Member of the Legislative Council of NSW Government for 27 years, the Former Minister Roads, Maritime and Freight from 2011 to 2017, the Vice President of the Executive Council of NSW, the Deputy Leader of the Government Legislative Council from 2011 to 2014, and is the current Chairman of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.  Duncan is also an Executive Advisor to the MU Group who provide business services for transport and infrastructure companies in both government and non-government sectors.

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