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Empire Unmanned is in the news!

Hayden, ID [February 27, 2018] Tim Komberec, President & CEO of Empire Airlines, Inc., has received the prestigious award of Executive of the Year from the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.


The award was presented to Mr. Komberec on February 13, 2018 at the 17th annual conference held by the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance at the Lynwood, Washington Convention Center. The Executive of the Year award is given annually by the organization in recognition of the executive that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the Pacific Northwest aerospace industry.


“It is truly an honor to receive this award and to be recognized by peers in the industry. The credit really goes to our wonderful employees and great customers.” says Tim Komberec.


“PNAA is excited to present Tim Komberec the Executive of the Year Award,” said PNAA’s Chairman Ted Croft. “His leadership has taken the company to incredible heights and has launched ventures to carry them through the future.”


Mr. Komberec has been President & CEO of Empire Airlines, a commercial carrier services company, since 2000. He has overseen the successful operations of not only Empire Airlines, but the company’s subsidiaries: Empire Aerospace, LLC; Empire Unmanned, LLC; and Ohana Airlines passenger services in Hawaii. Any of Empire Airlines’ employees will readily verify that Mr. Komberec is an executive leader that leads by example, espousing to his teams integrity, accountability, dependability, innovation and excellence in customer service.


In addition, Mr. Komberec currently serves as the Chairman of the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA), past Chairman of the Idaho Workforce Development council, member of the Board of Directors for the Regional Airline Association, member of the Coeur d’Alene Airport Advisory Board and member on the Jobs Plus Board. He is also a board member and past President of the North Idaho College Foundation.


Tim Komberec is a professional pilot who has flown over 13,000 hours as an airline pilot, check airman and flight instructor. He has managed every aspect of the flight industry, including airline fleets from small turbo props to large jet aircraft. His expertise, insight and creativity continue to drive Empire Airlines and the company’s divisions.


The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) is an organization dedicated to fostering innovation, collaboration and commerce for the aerospace industry in the Pacific Northwest. The organization’s efforts are aimed at furthering the growth and success of local aerospace companies. PNAA’s annual conference brings together the highest-level aerospace executives and companies in the Pacific Northwest, and acknowledges the achievements of the most outstanding aerospace executives and companies.

D&B Supply Radio Show with Empire Unmanned 

BOISE, ID- Drones are in use in hundreds of industries, including in agriculture. Ranchers and farmers can get                                                                                       geographic information systems (GIS) about fields, ranges, or even manure piles…….

Empire Unmanned August Press Release 

HAYDEN, ID- Steve Edgar of Empire Unmanned Appointed to FAA’s UAS in Controlled Airspace (UASCA), Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC)……

In Mines, UAVs take flight

HAYDEN, ID — Not long ago the notion of a winged flying machine in a mine would have been laughable….

Empire Unmanned sales triple in 2016

HAYDEN, ID — Empire Unmanned, a pioneer in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems industry, tripled its sales in 2016, mirroring national trends in the autonomous vehicle, remote sensing and geospatial data management industries.

Drone pioneer looks to expand into aircargo

Idaho-based drone pioneer Empire Unmanned LLC may be a small company, but it has big dreams

Drone companies prepare to train pilots, expand opportunities

HAYDEN, Idaho —Officials with locally based Empire Unmanned will start offering classes soon through two Idaho community colleges to build a pool of pilots for the growing commercial drone industry.

Idaho company envisions drone freight hub in Pocatello

POCATELLO, Idaho — An Idaho company that has pioneered the use of drones in agriculture plans to investigate the Pocatello Regional Airport as the potential site of a future international unmanned air-freight hub

Partnership aims to boost Idaho’s drone sector

From the University of Idaho —Unmanned aerial vehicles already help Idahoans with precision agriculture, natural-resource monitoring, wildland fire management and more

Empire Unmanned acquires Advanced Aviation Solutions

HAYDEN — Empire Holdings, Inc., on Wednesday announced one of its operating units, Empire Unmanned, LLC, has acquired Advanced Aviation Solutions (ADAVSO

Agricultural drone service launches in Hayden, company aims to help farmers maximize yields

Agricultural drone service launches in Hayden Company aims to help farmers maximize yields 

Drone company first to fly for Oregon, Northwest farmers: Unmanned aviation takes off

As the Federal Aviation Administration is attempting to craft new rules and regulations for the commercial use of drones, Empire Unmanned LLC is the first company to

As the Federal Aviation Administration is attempting to craft new rules and regulations for the commercial use of drones, Empire Unmanned LLC is the first company to

Empire Unmanned blog!

Predictions of Global Autonomous Cargo Operations


Steve Edgar, Founding Partner of Empire Unmanned



One day I envision, unmanned supertanker and cargo ships navigating the oceans and major waterways docking via autonomous technology in ports where they will be met by autonomous cargo tractor trailers and unmanned trains.  Those semi-trucks will then autonomously navigate overland interstate systems to their delivery destinations.  This system will be coupled to autonomous trains transiting the country’s rail lines delivering more cargo.  Completing the unmanned network, unmanned 747/787/777 style aircraft will conduct unmanned international cargo flights delivering their loads to centralized unmanned cargo hubs on all continents.  This system will be totally integrated and seamless.  I envision unmanned aircraft, semi-trucks and trains arriving at a specifically designed unmanned cargo hub achieving efficiencies only dreamed of today.  In fact, I have picked a terrestrial hub location: Pocatello, Idaho.  This city sits on a major north/south and east/west interstate intersection and a major east/west rail line.  It has a great, yet underutilized, airport with lots of land surrounding the airport for cargo warehouses.  It is sparsely populated and has low density air traffic operations.  It is situated along the northern border and is an easy departure point for “over the pole” unmanned cargo aircraft flight operations to Asia.  I selected Asia as my primary initial destination as cargo increases are greatest between Asia and North America on a recurring annual basis and Boeing predicts this trend will continue for the foreseeable future (20 years plus).


While I am ignorant to the specifics involved in achieving safe integration of unmanned vessels, trucks and trains, I can professionally address the topic of unmanned aircraft operations and with a high degree of confidence predict intercontinental unmanned cargo operations will occur in the next 7-12 years.  I am 100% confident that this will occur.


When you break down the transportation pieces into individual segments you will see they are already advancing on all fronts.  Unmanned/Autonomous trucks are on the roads today, military unmanned aircraft, such as the RQ-4 Global Hawk, already operate at high altitude integrating with commercial air traffic around the globe every day.  With all of the recent human error caused train accidents, we will shortly see autonomous train operations which will dramatically increase the safety statistics as we have already seen in aviation. It is only natural that international autonomous shipping activities will follow.   What has not yet been addressed is the systems integration among all the transportation modes.  The ultimate goal is seamless integration moving goods efficiently around the globe making real time inventory control a perfect event.


The obvious concern for safe integration is the first and foremost priority in achieving this automation.  Safety case studies built upon thousands of hours of test operations and simulation are already beginning.  The military has an immediate baseline for actual unmanned aircraft operational reliability and safety statics with the globally capable system RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS.