For private aviation charter company GAMG, drone disinfection is a way to keep clients in the entertainment industry on stage.
Jet-to-Stage: A Manned – Unmanned Model to Emulate
By: Dawn Zoldi
Toni Drummond, CEO of Global Aerial Management Group (GAMG), a 100% woman-owned-and-operated business, turned a challenge into an opportunity. When COVID struck, this pioneer who had earned her stripes in manned aviation running private jet aviation services and talent and production companies, started looking for ways to keep her VIP clients’ concerts and events safe. The solution: literally a solution. A tried and true long-term surface protectant used by hospitals, sprayed from drones.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Drone Disinfection at Entertainment Venues
The Klean Company, out of Texas, provides GAMG with the water-based, non toxic chemical-free barrier product the company uses. Initially created to combat black mold and mildew in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, today hospitals use it as a barrier by applying it after a surface is clean. “It keeps the clean trapped in, is what I say,” explained Drummond. EPA-approved to fight against COVID-19 on contact, it also kills off mold, microbes, bacteria and fungi. For several years, it has provided protection in hospitals and playrooms for a three-month period per application. And now GAMG uses it in indoor and outdoor stadiums, among other places.
Drummond recounted, “Necessity is the mother of invention. Our live music entertainment industry clients needed to stay open. We all did. It took about six months of research. When we found The Klean Company, we knew this was the right answer. If it’s safe for kids to lick this in a hospital playroom, it’s safe. So we launched.”
Now the company offers 360 jet-to-stage solutions to sustain the live entertainment industry through concert tours, special events, VIP travel internationally and onsite activations. GAMG provides the charter aircraft, if requested. They first sanitize and protect the inside of the private charter jets. When the plane lands, the GAMG team and their service providers use electrostatic sprayers, either by hand or by drone, to help the product adhere to various surfaces at the venue. A maximum of 4 treatments per year provides for extended protection, as opposed to cleaning after every event.
“The drone is just one of the delivery methods we use,” said Drummond. “We added the drone and the protectant to our services because it was needed. The combination provides a deep layer of cleaning and protection that does not have to be repeated after each use. This makes it sustainable and economical. With the added protection of a long term protectant and other precautions, we can all now continue to do business, and more importantly, enjoy life!
Using drones to do the job also saves time. According to Drummond, with a drone, her team can cover 140,000 square feet per hour, as compared to the 8 hours it would take an average team of 40 people to clean these areas by-hand. As an added bonus, workers no longer have to breathe in high-powered dangerous chemicals.
Drummond and her team, all logistical specialists with over 20 years in their respective aviation related fields, use multiple types of drones to get the job done. The group owns and runs some of its own equipment, like the Lucid D1 disinfecting drone, for indoor sanitizing. Other common models of Ag drones such as the AGRAS, have been modified for precision use in outdoor spraying. GAMG partners with service providers and suppliers within the U.S. to fill its needs.
Drone disinfection is Drummond’s latest entrepreneurial success story, in a long career of achievement. Born and raised in New Jersey, after college, she took a summer temp job in 1997 to earn some extra cash working for a large aviation management company at Teterboro Airport, one of the busiest private general aviation airports in the country. Her role grew, as did her passion for aviation. “I found myself engrossed in aerospace and loved it,” she recalled. “I have always had a strong business and marketing background. I proved my worth, developed my management style, and worked my way up the corporate ladder by blowing away sales goals over the years.” By 2002, she had started her first Part 135 on-demand charter company from the ground up. She continued to have success in aircraft operations and spent years helping companies build and scale massive growth. By 2008, Drummond had formed a consulting company to handle the influx of requested VIP aviation-related needs.
Drummond is also a partner in a Part 135 air charter company, Prestige Air Group, based out of Las Vegas. Before forming GAMG, in July 2020, she began a long term project with a medical transport contract that transported both doctors and organs via aircraft using specialized Organ Care Systems (OCS). OCS keeps hearts literally beating en route to the operation table. “I had a real passion for this project, I worked on it 24 hours a day for 8 months,” Drummond reflected. “I found myself awake during strange hours and began researching and reading about unmanned aircraft. I knew there was a role for drones in medicine, in the entertainment industry and more.” And so in October 2020, she created GAMG.
Drummond hopes to help society in more ways than just keeping the world clean, safe and healthy. She also seeks equity and inclusion. “I also have been called to continue to promote diversity, to start a women-owned business because I know what it’s like to work in a male-dominated industry,” said Drummond. “I had six brothers and yet I had no concept of the barriers I’d face. I had to constantly fight to prove myself to earn the respect of my peers and upper level management.” To pay it forward and help bring attention to the need for women in aviation, Drummond and GAMG have created an internship program to give college-aged women interested in manned and unmanned aviation a head start. “We cannot change tomorrow with yesterday’s thinking,” said Drummond. “Diversity brings us fresh ideas and a well-rounded future.”
As for that future, it sure looks bright for GAMG. The word has gotten out about their services. In addition to the entertainment industry, entertainment stadiums, arenas and venues now seek them out to provide drone disinfection services. “Now they can now have a hockey game in the morning and a concert in the evening,” Drummond explained. “This is something that could not have happened with the traditional by-hand cleaning model. With our drone technology and protectant that lasts for 90 days, an arena can do a quick simple wipe down instead of an actual deep clean between events.” The company also has requests rolling in from colleges, schools, universities, fitness centers and gymnasiums. As a solutions-oriented company, drone disinfecting is just the start for GAMG.
Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, USAF, Retired) is a licensed attorney with 28 years of combined active duty military and federal civil service to the Department of the Air Force. She is an intIernationally recognized expert on unmanned aircraft system law and policy, a columnist for several magazines,recipient of the Woman to Watch in UAS (Leadership) Award 2019, President and CEO of UAS Colorado and the CEO of P3 Tech Consulting LLC. For more information, visit her website at: https://www.p3techconsulting.com.