Unifly, a Terra Drone Corporation group company and a leading provider of Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management (UTM) systems, and SkeyDrone proudly announce a significant upgrade to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ (PoAB) UTM, DronePortal, a cutting-edge UTM application developed by Unifly. This upgrade enhances the efficiency of drone operations in the complex Port of Antwerp's airspace and supports the expanded use of drone technology. Additionally, the upgraded services are now extended to include the Port of Bruges. This development is a crucial step in advancing the PoAB airspace towards U-space readiness.
Operational in the Antwerp Port area since mid-March 2021 and having processed over 5,000 flight authorizations, the PoAB DronePortal upgrade plays a pivotal role in the evolving U-space landscape. The latest improvements include optimized automated approvals, enhanced integration support with drone operations, and User Interface (UI)/User Experience (UX) enhancements, all based on the most recent Unifly product version. The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is expected to become the first official U-space airspace in Europe, marking a significant milestone in uncrewed aerial operations. The Port of Antwerp-Bruges has become a hub for drone activities, hosting the highest volume of drone flights in Belgium. Beyond the D-Hive project that facilitates scalable Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights, numerous drone operators fly within the same airspace for various purposes, further solidifying the port’s status as a key player in the drone ecosystem.
Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital Information & Innovation Officer, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, states that “Embracing innovation is at the heart of our strategy, and this partnership with SkeyDrone and Unifly reaffirms our commitment to fostering a smart, connected, and future-ready port. Together, we’re shaping a new frontier in uncrewed aerial operations”.
According to Hendrik-Jan Van Der Gucht, Managing Director of SkeyDrone, “With this upgrade of the DronePortal, SkeyDrone is not only enhancing the user experience for drone operators but is also taking the next step towards U-space readiness, ensuring safe and seamless integration of unmanned aerial vehicles in the European airspace”.
Andres Van Swalm, CEO of Unifly, commented, " We are excited about the growing number of drone operators gearing up for autonomous flights. The recent system upgrade, extending support to the Port of Bruges and advancing PoAB towards U-Space readiness, is a significant milestone. The PoAB stands as a global exemplar of how drones can be seamlessly integrated into non-segregated airspace."