drone being remote controlled by operator
CIM24 showcases Northeast Ohio Flight Information Exchange (NEOFIX) as a pioneering digital hub for enhancing safe drone operations

CLEVELAND, OHIO, January 22, 2024 – The Northeast Ohio Flight Information System (NEOFIX), a new data-sharing information system that is enhancing drone safety in the region, will be among the innovative technologies featured at the Critical Infrastructure Modernization Forum (CIM24) at the Westlake Community Services Center on Monday, Jan. 29. John Eberhardt, the president and chief technology officer for ATA Aviation, and Stuart Mendel, project director for the Baldwin Wallace University Technology Partnerships Initiative, will discuss the role of NEOFIX in enabling safety, transparency, and accountability in the drone industry.

CIM24 will focus on Northeast Ohio’s burgeoning Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry, which is transforming transportation with revolutionary new aircraft, from small drones for local package delivery and public safety to electric air taxis for regional air cargo and passenger services. AAM systems are quieter, safer, and more affordable alternatives to traditional aviation, requiring innovative traffic management for its diverse range of aircraft.

In addition to a session on NEOFIX, there will be panels and workshops on regulatory environments, manufacturing 4.0, pharmaceutical delivery, data management, hybrid threats, and supply chain. Joe Zeis, the Senior Advisor for Aerospace and Defense for Gov. Mike Dewine of Ohio, will deliver the keynote address.

CIM24 is being organized by Critical Ops, LLC, an Ohio-based integration consulting firm, which also among the private industry partners that play a vital role in guiding sustainable operations for NEOFIX. Chelsea Treboniak, the president and CEO of Critical Ops, says CIM24 will include participation by innovators, decision-makers, visionaries and customers who are developing AAM to modernize the transportation infrastructure of Northeast Ohio.

“As we gear up for CIM24, we’re not just anticipating an event – we’re unlocking the potential of AAM to redefine industries and propel us into a new era of possibilities,” Treboniak says. “AAM is more than innovation; it’s a transformative force that promises to reshape our world for the better.”

A reception following the conference, “Flights after Flight” at Sibling Revelry Brewing in Westlake, will allow speakers and fellow attendees to network and foster career-transforming connections and valuable industry insights. More information and registration for the CIM24 conference and reception are available at https://criticalops.com/cim-24-registration/

As a collaborative effort between Baldwin Wallace University’s Technology Partnerships Initiative, Cuyahoga County, and ATA Aviation, NEOFIX provides real-time awareness for drone operations in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. During the CIM24 presentation, Eberhardt and Mendel will discuss the role of NEOFIX in enhancing safety, transparency, and accountability in the drone industry.

“The session on the NEOFIX at CIM24 will show its transformative impact on drone safety and the broader drone industry,” Eberhardt says. “By participating in CIM24, we will be contributing to a collective dialogue on critical infrastructure modernization, aligning with our commitment to advancing technology’s role in safety and efficiency.”

Serving as a publicly owned digital service with data in the public domain, NEOFIX uses an open interface for authorized users to publish key information. A user group comprising of representatives from state and local government, public safety agencies, service suppliers, and critical infrastructure providers will govern the system.

NEOFIX contributes to the safety and efficiency of using drones across various industries, promoting economic growth. Examples include drone use in construction for building inspections, farmland surveys for agriculture, and search and rescue operations by first responders.

NEOFIX also brings opportunities to manufacturers by offering innovative solutions for logistics and supply chain management, significantly reducing transportation time for goods. It also enables access to remote or difficult-to-reach locations, broadening the scope and efficiency of manufacturing operations. Manufacturing Works, a member-based entity serving manufacturing companies and organizations throughout Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio acknowledges the opportunities AAM particularly brings to the region and looks forward to continued advancements in the sector.


NEOFIX is administered by Baldwin Wallace University (BW) in Berea, Ohio, on behalf of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The data in NEOFIX is owned and managed by BWU as a public asset for the people of Cuyahoga County. NEOFIX provides authoritative state and local data sharing for local and state agencies, to UAS Service Suppliers (USS), and to Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) and Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) operators. For more information, please visit OH-FIX: https://oh-fix.com.

About Baldwin Wallace University Technology Partnerships Initiative:

Baldwin Wallace University’s Technology Partnerships Initiative creates the conditions for technology and related businesses development to benefit the education and career opportunities of BW Students, faculty and alumni in the region and Cuyahoga County communities adjacent and nearby to NASA Glenn Research Center and CLE Hopkins. The work products draw on the notion that BW will incubate social enterprise and engage public private partnership principles as if it were a nonprofit intermediary organization housed in a university setting. For more information, please visit https://bw-centers-tech-partnerships.org/

About Critical Ops:

Critical Ops is an integration consulting company founded in 2012, aimed at assisting organizations with major transformations, merger and acquisition initiatives, and project management. The company offers integration strategy and framework design services, leading functional teams, developing workstreams, and monitoring system transitions. Visit Critical Ops’ website for more information at https://criticalops.com/.

About Manufacturing Works:

Manufacturing Works, located in Northeast Ohio, is a membership-based organization dedicated to supporting, strengthening, and promoting the manufacturing industry in the region. It provides a range of services, including networking opportunities, workforce development, and technological innovation support to help manufacturers grow and compete in a global economy. Additionally, Manufacturing Works plays a pivotal role in advocating for manufacturing interests and fostering collaboration among businesses, educational institutions, and community partners.

Logos of participating organizations

Soaring to new heights, together.

Be sure to visit the BWU Technology Partnerships Initiative website to learn more about how our NEOFIX program drives economic growth, promotes policy and infrastructure to improve drone safety and efficiency in various industries, and ensures that drone technology is being used responsibly.