Tony Pucciarella serves as the Director of Operations for the UMD UAS Test Site, responsible for the airworthiness evaluation of systems and the safe conduct of all test flight operations. He is an industry recognized expert in airworthiness, airspace integration, and operations for both manned and unmanned operations.
Tony is a retired US Navy Commander, naval aviator, and Airline Transport Pilot with over 5,000 flight hours in aircraft ranging from the iconic B-25 to the state-of-the-art Gulfstream V. He served multiple tours as a Navy Flag Pilot responsible for flying senior Navy and USMC leaders, white house staff, and foreign dignitaries. His last assignment in uniform was as the Lead Pilot and Fleet Integration Team Director on the delivery of the Navy’s C-37A program. As a contractor, Tony led the certification effort for airspace integration on the Navy’s Triton UAS program. In this role, he served as a subject matter expert on Sense and Avoid (SAA) methodologies and drafted the Navy’s first SAA certification instruction. Tony holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Ohio State University and an MBA from Loyola University and remains active in the engineering community. In his free time, Tony enjoys being home in Calvert County, MD, spending time with his family and building and flying multi-rotor UAS.