Drone Operations Today update  

The Global UTM Association (GUTMA) recently hosted a webinar to take a look at Drone Operations today. This online format replaced the live event originally planned in conjunction with Mobile World Congress. This is the first of six webinars which we will provide a short synopsis of over the next couple of months.

Three speakers addressed this topic. Starting with Wing, currently available in Australia, Finland and the United States, who delivers business goods by drone. Local merchants are able to make their goods available for delivery and people wanting to purchase only need the Wing app to do so. Examples provided on Wing’s website include first aid supplies, small hardware materials and even bakery items. Cupcakes on demand!

The solution works with BVLOS and strategic deconfliction to ensure safe traffic operation. Connectivity is supplied via 3G, 4G or LTE depending on the available infrastructure in each location. Wing works directly with the mobile network operator to define communications and security requirements.

The second speaker was from Matternet, also a drone delivery company but with their focus on medical testing. Operating in Switzerland and the United States, they also operate BVLOS and were the first FAA approved drone airline. In partnership with UPS,  the full Part 135 Standard certification allows UPS to operate as a drone airline using Matternet’s technology to expand to on-demand delivery operations to hospitals around the country.

The solution is authorized by the Swiss aviation authority for full logistics operations over cities. It is designed to carry payloads of up to 2 kilograms and 4 liters over distances of up to 20 kilometers. Matternet’s proprietary software, platform for operating Matternet networks, receives customer requests, generates routes, monitors, commands and controls all operating Matternet assets. Check out the video to see the solution in action. In addition to a very needed concept, they should win a design award for the drone station.

The final speaker represented the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Along with the other speakers he discussed the importance of SORA. The acronym stands for Specific Operations Risk Assessment and is used to establish a common process that can be used to identify, qualitatively assess and manage the safety risk posed by UAS when preparing the safety case required for regulatory approval to conduct certain types of operations.