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2022 Aviation, Aerospace and UAS Legislative Reception

Nearly 450 attendees gathered at the Richmond Main Street Station and witnessed firsthand the most recent innovations and technological advances of the aviation and aerospace industry at the 2022 Aviation, Aerospace, and UAS Legislative Reception.

The annual VABA Legislative Reception has always been the best attended industry event during the General Assembly. This year was no exception with distinguished guests, Governor Glenn Youngkin, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears, five cabinet officers, and many members of the General Assembly.


The Governor delivered remarks alongside the Virginia Wing CAP cadets, in which he reinforced his unconditional support for Virginia’s aviation, aerospace and unmanned systems industry. Furthermore, the Governor placed special emphasis on promoting aviation and aerospace careers among school age and young adults, in order to develop a larger, highly qualified workforce in the future.


The VABA also recognized the dedication and commitment of Delegate Mark Sickles and Senator John Cosgrove, both of whom have continuously strived to support and improve Aviation and Aerospace in the Commonwealth. In addition, the VABA paid tribute to Donna Lawson, NASA legislative affairs officer, who has been maintaining US leadership in aerospace for more than thirty years and recently announced her retirement.

The VABA Air Boss, Jay Willmott, oversaw the drone demonstrations. The area consisted of a National Institute Standards Technology (NIST) obstacle course among other flying events.  Even Governor Youngkin took a turn at flying a drone!

Our thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors for making the event an incredible success.  This year we had 33 exhibitors, four Virginia Universities, five teams of Drone operators, Civil Air Patrol Cadets, and more.  The 2022 VABA Legislative Reception demonstrates the innovation in the aviation, aerospace and unmanned systems industry and promotes the industry’s legislative goals.  The continued support of industry and the General Assembly is fundamental to maintaining and expanding  growth in Virginia.


Thank you to our sponsors for another great event!
The 2022 Aviation, Aerospace & UAS Legislative Reception was held on February 2, 2022 at Main Street Station 

Photo credit: Ryan Carter, Virginia Space Grant Consortium,Katie Hellebush, Hellebush Consulting and Lena Cary, VABA

VABA Board Members, Mike Mickel, Chairman, and Ron Gatewood  meeting with The Honorable Winsome Sears, Lt. Governor of Virginia

Virginia Department of Aviation

Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation

Virginia Space


Signature Flight Support

Virginia Institute for

Spaceflight at Old Dominion University

NASA - Langley 

Denbigh HS Aviation Academy

Liberty University Aeronautical Program


Delta Airport Consultants



Virginia Space Grant Consortium

NEXTGEN Aviators

Washington Airports Task Force


NASA - Wallops


Dominion Aviation Services

Averett University

Dynamic Aviation


Northrop Grumman


City of Hampton

Rocket Lab

Virginia Recycling Association


Atlantic Drone Pros

Austin Electrical Construction

Virginia State University

Science Systems & Applications, Inc (SSAI)

Virginia AeroSpace Business Association

Civil Air Patrol, Virginia Wing

Hampton Economic Development

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