Reliable Robotics Announces New Cargo Airline Led by Industry Veterans – Yahoo Finance

Former Ameriflight Executives, Jeff Drees and David DeRose, and experienced cargo industry professional Lee Tomlinson join to establish airline operations

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., January 11, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Reliable Robotics, a leader in automated aircraft systems, today announced the appointments of David DeRose as Director of Finance and Lee Tomlinson as Director of Operations to the company’s fully owned Part 135 airline subsidiary in preparation for commercial cargo flights. DeRose and Tomlinson join Jeff Drees, Director of Cargo Strategy, to begin cargo services this year. Reliable Robotics will continue to grow its airline team and operational experience as part of a phased certification approach to bring its Remotely Operated Aircraft System and services to market.

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Jeff Drees, David DeRose and Lee Tomlinson join Reliable Robotics to run its airline subsidiary (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are working with leading cargo carriers eager to integrate remotely piloted systems into their fleets,” explained Jeff Drees, Director of Cargo Strategy for Reliable Robotics and former Co-owner and Chief Commercial Officer of Ameriflight. “By demonstrating crewed air cargo delivery first, we will build a solid foundation for the transition to remotely operated flights.”

Investing in an Experienced Team
Reliable Robotics is focused on launching a new type of airline powered by advanced automation. Starting from the ground up, the airline team is prioritizing hiring world-class talent and establishing safety management and operational procedures. Drees, DeRose and Tomlinson bring a combined 80-plus years of strategic and tactical expertise in the air cargo industry and will build the business while developing operational procedures specific to remotely piloted aircraft that are aligned with the company’s certification plans.

“We’ve taken deliberate steps to recruit a reputable team and further develop our experience in the air cargo sector, but certifying aircraft systems for safe routine operations takes time,” said Robert Rose, Co-founder and CEO of Reliable Robotics. “We will introduce automation into the airline operation once we have proven to ourselves and the FAA that these systems can be deployed safely for commercial use.”

Jeff Drees, Director of Cargo Strategy
Drees will lead cargo operations and recruit key hires for the Part 135 subsidiary. He spent 40 years in the aviation industry starting as a pilot and spanning all aspects of airline operations. Drees served as Chief Commercial Officer for Ameriflight and oversaw more than 1,500 domestic and international departures per week while the company was flying over 75,000 hours per year. He managed customer relationships with FedEx, UPS and DHL, a large bank consortium and nuclear medicine organizations with time-sensitive deliveries. During his 35-year tenure, Drees became a co-owner of the company and also held the position of Executive Vice President of Operations.

David DeRose, Director of Finance
DeRose will lead finance for the new airline subsidiary. He has spent much of his career in aviation including 25 years at Ameriflight. He became a co-owner of the airline, and in his roles as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, DeRose provided strategic vision and established formal policies, procedures and reporting metrics for all operational departments across 700 employees. Notably, he led the acquisition and integration of airlines, and he was key in the company’s management buyout and subsequent sale. Ameriflight became the biggest 135 cargo carrier …….


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