Sterling Heights Embraces Drone Future with Airspace Link Partnership

Sterling Heights is preparing for a drone-driven future. The city has partnered with Detroit-based Airspace Link Inc. to assess how drones can boost public safety, services, and economic growth. This assessment is reportedly part of a broader initiative to integrate advanced technology into the city's operations.

Drone-Readiness Assessment

The Sterling Heights City Council approved the partnership with Airspace Link Inc. to conduct a comprehensive Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Readiness Assessment. This assessment is a critical step toward integrating drones into various city functions.

“The future is here, and Sterling Heights is embracing it,” said Mayor Michael Taylor, highlighting the city's forward-thinking approach.

City Manager Mark Vanderpool stated that the assessment will cost approximately $10,000 and will take several months to complete. The assessment consists of six levels, and Sterling Heights is starting with the first. This initiative aligns with the city's recently approved $252 million annual budget and its 2040 Visioning Plan, which aims to enhance the quality of life through public safety, sustainability, mobility, and more.

The Growing Impact of Drone Technology

Vanderpool emphasized the rapid growth of both in , the U.S. and globally. The economic impact of drone technology was estimated at $1.25 billion in 2020 and is projected to exceed $60 billion.

“We need to be well-prepared,” Vanderpool said, underscoring the importance of creating an environment conducive to drone technology. The city's goal is to regulate drones meaningfully without stifling their potential.

Potential Uses for Drones

City officials are considering a wide range of applications for drones, including:

  • Assessing disaster areas
  • Searching for missing persons
  • Inspecting infrastructure
  • Creating 3D maps for development
  • Capturing aerial footage to promote tourism
  • Managing traffic

The partnership with Airspace Link will help Sterling Heights integrate drones across all relevant departments.

Airspace Link's CEO, Michael Healander, stated, “Our assessment will provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of Sterling Heights' drone ecosystem today while capturing an inclusive view of their objectives for future UAS integration.”

Sterling Heights is positioning itself at the forefront of drone technology integration. By partnering with Airspace Link Inc., the city aims to harness the potential of drones to enhance public safety, services, and economic growth. This initiative is a testament to the city's commitment to innovation and its vision for a technologically advanced future.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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