DroneUp, authorized drone services provider for 13 states, recently announced that it has acquired AirMap, Inc., and its UTM platform.
Aviation technology provider DroneUp recently announced its acquisition of AirMap, Inc., the digital airspace and automation company. AirMap offers an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) service which will benefit DroneUp’s network of pilots and growing ground infrastructure. The company's UTM service provides comprehensive flight data for up to 100,000 international flights each day.
As one of three UTM providers deployed internationally, AirMap provides UTM in Switzerland in addition to serving customers throughout North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. DroneUp has achieved government authorization as a drone services provider for 13 states in which it serves public sector organizations. The company also has over 190 active waivers and authorizations with the FAA.
One of the most significant advantages of the AirMap platform is its capacity to advance safety for DroneUp’s operations and in particular for last-mile drone services. Tom Walker, DroneUp’s CEO, said in the press release, “We’ve integrated with the best aerospace teams to bring drone delivery and flight services to market faster and more economically with our patented flight management software, and now the industry’s number one UTM solution. We believe DroneUp has a moral obligation to continue investment in and expansion of the AirMap platform. We will ensure this resource remains openly available to the drone industry, municipalities, and the FAA.”
Keeping the AirMap platform openly available is an important part of DroneUp’s focus on safety. In an interview with Avionics International, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications, Amy Wiegand, explained, “As drone flight volume increases, safely managing flights is increasingly complicated and requires an automated system to plan, request clearance, and factor in potential hazards and airspace restrictions. The AirMap platform advances safety for drone operations while also providing advantages for other drone operators to publish their flight plans, promoting uniform safety.”
In November, DroneUp also announced its partnership with Walmart to provide consumers the option of drone delivery from DroneUp “Hubs,” or drone airports. Three locations in Arkansas will operate full-time, on-demand deliveries, with two more locations in the state set to open in the next few months. The drone deliveries are managed by a crew of expertly trained operators. According to DroneUp’s Tom Walker, “Teaming up with Walmart to launch three delivery Hubs marks a significant leap forward in the broader use of [unmanned aircraft system] UAS to provide last-mile consumer delivery services and supply chain efficiency options.”
The acquisition of AirMap will help DroneUp to surmount the industry’s main hurdles: UAS pilots, software and hardware, and UTM. Ben Marcus, AirMap co-founder, stated, “Since its inception, AirMap has worked to create a future where drones deliver value to millions of people in their everyday lives.” He is confident that the partnerships DroneUp has established, and the company’s commitment to its mission, will contribute to building this future.