Working Groups

HAPS Alliance Working Groups enable our eligible members to deepen their participation and enhance their influence on the development and deployment of HAPS ventures. Whatever your area of expertise, as a leader in your industry, our working groups enable you to have a direct and tangible effect on the future of high altitude platform stations (HAPS).  

 HAPS Alliance Working Groups cover several critical areas: marketing and communications, aviation, and telecommunications. 


Working together to accelerate technical growth of safe, reliable HAPS systems to unlock the worldwide services potential of the stratosphere.

We do this by sharing a HAPS Alliance-centric concept of operations with our regulators and stakeholders to find the best route forwards.

Chair of the Aviation WG: Andy Thurling

Vice-Chair of the Aviation WG: Timothy Down


Working to advance the global HAPS ecosystem for telecommunications use cases through education, research, regulatory advocacy, and technical standards.

Currently focused on standards contributions to multiple groups and regulatory guidance in support of HAPS solutions.

Chair of the Telecommunications WG: Fatema Hamdani

Vice-Chair of the Telecommunications WG: Shiro Fukumoto


Supporting the creation of HAPS ecosystem by supporting Alliance goals in driving awareness, safety and regulatory alignment and commercial adoption.

Currently working on educating stakeholders about the value of stratosphere and hybrid networks; building credibility and establigh authority in HAPS operations and bridging the divide between aerospace, teleco and regulatory by facilitating cross-industry collaboration.

Chair of the Marketing & Communications WG: Matthew Nicholson

Working Group Chairs

Andy ThurlingConsultant, HAPS Airworthiness and Airspace IntegrationSoftBank

Andy Thurling is Principal at Thurling Aero Consulting and Chief Technology Officer for NUAIR. He is involved in research on current and future unmanned technologies, evaluation of potential paths to implementation, development of industry consensus standards for approval by regulators, and flight test techniques to verify compliance. He is active in national and international standards bodies including ASTM, RTCA, EUROCAE, and ISO. He is also a subject matter expert to JARUS and the ICAO Trust Framework Study Group. Andy’s previous positions include Director of Mission Assurance at AeroVironment where he led airworthiness, certification, and airspace access strategic efforts. Andy is a Distinguished Graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School. He has held several positions as a test pilot and as an instructor at the Test Pilot School and Commander of a USAF Flight Test Squadron. Andy has over 2,300 hours of flight time in more than 35 aircraft types.

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