Maj Gen Marke “Hoot” Gibson USAF (Ret)
President & CEO
Major General Marke F. “Hoot” Gibson (ret) is the president and chief executive officer of the NUAIR Alliance. Gibson directs the organization’s efforts to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system (NAS) to include UAS operations being conducted in New York, Massachusetts and Michigan. He also oversees investments by New York state to put the region at the forefront of the UAS industry.
Gibson has more than four decades of experience in aviation and a proven track record of strong leadership. Prior to NUAIR, he served as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) senior adviser on UAS. Gibson has served as executive director of the NextGen Institute, which provides professional services to the UAS Joint Program Development Office. He also owned an aviation consulting firm.
Gibson retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2011 after 33 years of service. He held numerous senior command and staff positions earning him the rank of Major General. Gibson retired as the Air Force’s director of current operations and training where he led the startup of a new cyber career field and its integration into Air Force operations. He also worked on behalf of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff on ways to better integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace. As the director of current operations and training, Gibson was also responsible for the startup of a separate career field and unique training path for those who fly Air Force remote piloted aircrafts today.
Gibson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the United States Air Force Academy, a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s of National Security Affairs from the National War College. Gibson serves on many advisory boards to include the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) board of directors.
Anthony B. Basile
Chief Operations Officer
Colonel Anthony Basile is the Chief Operations Officer for the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, Inc. (NUAIR), a non-profit corporation leading a coalition of New York and Massachusetts aerospace industry and academic institutions, working together to establish a site for the testing and certification of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and the training of their operators.
A 1977 graduate of Fordham University, Bronx, NY, Colonel Basile is a resident of Manlius, NY. After completing undergraduate pilot training in 1981, he spent 29 years with the 174th Fighter Wing, Syracuse, NY, serving as its commander from 2003 until 2008. While at the 174th, Colonel Basile accumulated 4,000 hours flying the unit’s A-10 and F-16 aircraft. He has logged 67 combat sorties, including 51 during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Among his numerous military awards are the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal with 4 devices.
From 2008 to until his retirement in 2010, Colonel Basile was assigned as Chief of Staff, New York Air National Guard (NYANG), headquartered in Latham, NY. In this position, he was the senior air officer responsible for the successful mission accomplishment of the NYANG: 5 flying wings and air defense sector totaling 6,000 airmen, 75 aircraft and 9 installations….5 billion dollars in resources, 450 million dollars in annual budgets. In this capacity, Colonel Basile served as the primary advisor to the Adjutant General, New York, in all matters dealing with the NYANG, both in execution of its federal mission supporting the global war on terrorism and federal disaster relief taskings, and its Defense Support to Civil Authority (DSCA) state mission responding to taskings from the Governor of New York State for domestic homeland security issues.
Colonel Basile was the Airport Service Group Manager for C&S Engineers, Inc., Syracuse, NY, from 2010 thru the end of 2013, overseeing the engineering planning, design, and construction of the firm’s 30 regional airport clients.
In addition to his work with NUAIR, he serves as President, Mach 2 Associates, LLC, consulting to a variety of clients on issues related to aviation, safety, crisis management, and media relations.
Ray Young, Ph.D.
Chief Integration Officer
Dr. Ray Young serves as the Chief Integration Officer for the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR Alliance) an alliance of several hundred Massachusetts and New York organizations. The NUAIR Alliance is the Test Site Manager for Griffiss International Airport, one of six FAA-designated Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Sites with test ranges in New York and Massachusetts. Ray currently serves as a member of the RTCA SC-228 UAS Standards Committee. Before joining NUAIR, he was a senior member of the Saab Sensis Advanced Development group with responsibility for UAS research and development, and also director of the Saab Sensis Reston Technology Center. His technology group supported NASA and FAA in projects which included research and development for safe integration of advanced aircraft, including unmanned aircraft, into the global civil aviation system. Prior to 2009, he taught airport design engineering at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and MBA operations management and innovation as a management professor at the University of Southern Nevada.
As a senior executive at the U.S. Department of Transportation, he served as deputy director for air transportation policy, and also served as deputy assistant secretary for policy and international affairs. During his five years as a federal executive, he was awarded the DOT Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement for his contributions to the Department’s aviation policies.
His career background combines engineering, finance, policy, management, and education. He has held executive positions in industry, as president and CEO of a U.S. regional airline and COO of a Canadian air international cargo carrier, and as director of profit planning and control and director of global business development for a U.S. air cargo and logistics corporation with worldwide operations. For a number of years he was a visiting lecturer in the London Business School’s Civil Aviation Senior Management Program.
On graduation from university, he was commissioned as a United States Army field artillery officer. Deployed to Southeast Asia as a forward fire support officer, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for Valor in a 101st Airborne Division infantry battalion air assault on a strongly-defended base camp. In this action, the 101st battalion earned a Presidential Unit Citation. As a member of the First Cavalry Division, he later saw action in a campaign in which the First Cavalry was also awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. He completed his two-year active duty military obligation as an instructor in the gunnery department of the U.S. Army Field Artillery School, and went on to serve for another six years as a Captain in an Army Reserve Special Forces Group, as a signals and intelligence officer.
Dr. Young began his career as a Boeing flight control systems design engineer, and later served as a staff aeronautical engineer for a leading U.S. global airline. He earned a Ph.D. degree in civil and environmental engineering from UNLV, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton. He holds an FAA commercial pilot certificate. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Chief Technology Officer
The NUAIR Alliance has hired Andy Thurling as its new chief technology officer (CTO). Thurling most recently served as the director of product safety and mission assurance at AeroVironment, in Simi Valley, California. At AeroVironment, Thurling led airworthiness, certification and airspace access strategic efforts. He begins his new role with NUAIR on March 1 and will lead technical research on current and future unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technologies.
Thurling will play a critical role in the engineering and operations efforts needed to launch NUAIR’s national unmanned systems testing and rating (NUSTAR) initiative. He will support the organization’s strategic efforts to establish protocols for the formal evaluation of UAS technologies and evaluate potential paths to commercialization. He will work with partners from industry and academia to establish technical standards for acceptance by regulators and develop testing criteria to verify compliance. His high-level of expertise and broad range experience in the industry will support NUAIR’s leadership role in the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS).
Thurling is active in standards bodies such as ASTM, the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA), and internationally with European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE). He is also a subject matter expert to the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) working group developing the Specific Operational Risk Assessment process. He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) and has held several positions as a test pilot and instructor at USAF TPS.
Thurling graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was commissioned in the Air Force in 1987. During the next decade, he served in various positions as an F-15 fighter pilot, before being selected for USAF TPS. His career in the Air Force culminated as commander of the Flight Test Squadron responsible for testing the nation’s newest unmanned aircraft. Thurling has over 2,300 hours of flight time in more than 35 aircraft types and was awarded the 2011 AUVSI “Operations Award” for leading the flight testing of the liquid hydrogen-powered Global Observer.