Captain Clifford “Cliff” Sweatte is an Aviation Officer at The World Food Programme (WFP) based in Rome, Italy. Cliff provides technical expertise for the identification of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) manufacturers and service providers for their potential use in humanitarian and emergency aviation missions. Cliff’s duties also include drafting WFP policies and guidance for enabling RPAS cargo operations in accordance with ICAO frameworks and civil aviation authority regulations.
Cliff previously served as an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) RPAS technical officer. His roles included serving as secretary for the UAS Advisory Group (UAS-AG), formed to assist member States with developing guidance and best practices for their UAS and drone programs including the UAS traffic management (UTM) initiative presented at the first DRONE ENABLE symposium. Formerly, an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector and Program Manager for their UAS Pathfinder beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations in the Arctic, performing marine mammal, ice and pipeline surveys and with BNSF Railway, enabling USA’s first civil, commercial BVLOS UAS operations.
Prior to joining the FAA, Cliff flew as an international air carrier pilot with nearly 7,000 hours of flying experience and served as an airline union leader, developing safety programs with the FAA.