STAT Trade Times: “What’s in store for the drone market in 2023?”

The future is bright for drone operations. Demand is on the rise and key industry players are making great strides every single day. We are glad to share our knowledge and perspectives on UAS Traffic Management (UTM) systems in this article by STAT Trade Times.

With a growth in demand for drone delivery services in 2023, there will be a huge reliance on the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system and drone safety.

“A surge in demand is a positive sign for the industry and the communities that drone operations are meant to benefit, but this also means that we have to accelerate our collective work in developing the right regulations, safety standards and public outreach efforts.

For a UTM system to be truly reliable and effective, it also requires harmonisation between all ecosystem stakeholders – from aircraft OEMs, to operators and the authorities. A UTM system must provide an accurate real-time picture of all elements that extend beyond our visual line of sight, and respond dynamically to ensure the safe and efficient use of our shared airspace. This means that we need unifying platforms and standards that bring together the multiple drone manufacturers vying for their space in the sky, a range of operators and individual pilots flying their aircraft simultaneously, feedback from other forms of land, sea and air transportation, and of course, the necessary authorisation and monitoring from the authorities. Any rogue element could cause a tremendous ripple effect to the rest of the network, and that is what AirBridge has been developed to address,” said Fabrice Ancey, Co-Founder and CCO, Heron AirBridge.

“The rise in demand will originate in force from sectors such as shipping and logistics, manufacturing and distribution. What we have witnessed over the past two to three years has been a positive sandbox for the wider deployment of drones in logistics operations, and the industry is now ready to scale up in terms of volume, mission profiles, distance covered and payloads carried. This means that the demand not only for drones, but also for skilled operators, physical logistics and landside hubs, and UTM systems will take greater precedence than ever before.

Consequently, will be a greater need to invest in cybersecurity infrastructure to safeguard the operations of wider-scale drone deliveries. From the operator and remote pilot’s hands to the integrity of each individual drone, building cybersecurity resilience into the entire tech stack will be an essential element of a safe and secure take off for the industry,” said Ryan Lee, Co-Founder and CEO, Heron AirBridge.

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