Current position and professional background
Francis J. Duque is Director and member of the Board of Directors for leading Marques Aviation’s global legal and business affairs covering issues such as corporate alliances, certification and licensing, competition, enforcement, flight operations, mergers and acquisitions, and safety regulation.
Bringing to the international industry of unmanned aircraft systems (aka UAS) a vast experience specialised in aviation finance such as lease, fractional ownership, management, and finance transactions, together with other aviation-related practices that include corporate governance, public policy, international agreements and treaties, regulatory compliance, business transactions, data protection and intellectual property. Previously responsible as operating officer and board adviser to facilitate strategic deal execution amongst internal and external stakeholders across different sectors, locations and cultures, including Asia. Corporate attorney at law on both Common and Civil law of business on large cross-border deals at Business Legal Partner, Senior Corporate and Division Lead Counsel levels. Senior Research Fellow with global academic references at PhD level at the interface between International Business and Legal Affairs, Business Economics and International Finance, Governance and Transnational Corporations.
“As Doc Brown, a fictional character in the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy, eloquently stated: “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Francis J. Duque
Perspectives on UAS in the next years
Thinking about unmanned aircraft brings up all sorts of critical issues on the limits of the sky like safety, privacy and security, subsequently those perspectives regarding the legal aspects of unmanned aircraft systems along with regulatory traffic areas such as personal injury, invasion of privacy or close encounters in order to release the prevailing red flags. Technological advances in manned aircraft industry have skyrocketed during the last several decades, thus today some of the most innovative technological advances are being implemented in UAS products. It is quite instructive to mention Lawrence Sperry´s autopilot as the first example of avionics system and electronic device designed for aircraft use to understand new innovative piloting ready-to-fly unmanned aircraft systems, without constant ‘hands-on’ control by a human operator controlling all stability and government functions including throttle and altitude during a sense and avoid situation to direct unmanned aircraft away from hazardous flight trajectories, will play a major part in the rule-making process to create and promulgate regulations.
Actions of unmanned aircraft systems will be predetermined on diverse algorithmic programmes developed by unmanned aircraft manufacturers that are going to be absolutely dependent on the auto-collision-avoidance technology standards and regulations to be approved. Developing large-scale UAS air-traffic control management systems to enable low-altitude airspace operations (e.g. Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management, UTM system) will be patterns to integrating UAS into the national and international airspace.
What will be the biggest challenges?
Jeff Preston Bezos, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, recently unveiled his plan for unmanned aerial delivering of packages on the doorsteps, otherwise stated, the coming Drone Age. Particularly what is happening to unmanned aircraft systems is similar to what happened to personal computers in the 1980s, when Apple launched the Macintosh and IBM the PS/2, and such machines went from being hobbyists’ toys to new business paradigm. The challenges of technology entrepreneurship and market applications of unmanned systems will be fundamental in an emerging digital–ecosystem, such as communications and cloud technology platforms, of the new we-economy world where disrupting business models of aircraft industry and aerial robotics are illustrating The Internet of Things. As we are quickly progressing into an increasingly digitized and convergence world the environment will concentrate on everyday devices connected to the Internet, as well as one another, using wireless and virtual technology, and this specific second aspect will critical to focus on dimensional unmanned aircraft business models. By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices in which information will be essential across all customer-facing functions and business processes to find ways to turn contents into a competitive advantage rather than a cost and building data into new products and services.