DRONAMICS, a middle-mile cargo drone developer and operator, today unveiled the first 5 airports in its European network of cargo droneports. The DRONAMICS European Droneport Network is the world’s first cargo droneport network and includes private airports and airport groups operating more than 35 airports in 11 European countries, connecting 300 million people with a low-cost same-day cargo service. DRONAMICS will operate same-day flights within the network using its proprietary DRONAMICS “Black Swan” large cargo drones, each with a capacity of 350 kg and range of up to 2,500 km, reducing time, cost and emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional air cargo.
The first 5 airports unveiled today are in Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Italy, and Sweden. They include regional leaders in air cargo such as Liège Airport (Belgium), which serves as Alibaba’s European Hub, and Brescia Airport (Italy), the national hub for the Italian postal system, as well as a select number of airports at strategic locations throughout the continent that are on a path to becoming regional air cargo hubs through ambitious investment programs, like Skövde (Sweden), Seinäjoki (Finland) and Osijek (Croatia).
“The power of logistics to unlock economic value and opportunity is second to none. This is why especially in a post-2020 world, it is increasingly important to ensure same-day shipping is available not just in big cities, but in every community, no matter how small or remote. Now, more than ever before, it’s vital for countries to ensure uninterrupted trade and supply lines with their neighbors no matter what, and our international droneport network will allow just that. We are starting with Europe not just because our 2,500 km range allows us to cover the whole continent in one flight, but also because the EU and EASA have shown remarkable regulatory leadership in the field of air mobility, and we are happy to find such great airport partners who will work with us to pioneer this emerging technology,” says Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of DRONAMICS.
"We believe that unmanned air freight will be an important part of the future of the logistics industry. With the capabilities of the Black Swan, DRONAMICS taps into the growing segment of on-demand same-day delivery in e-commerce, pharma and time-critical cargo. Innovation is key in our industry to meet the current and future challenges and developing LGG as a drone hub is part of our strategic plan. At the first edition of the We Cargo Innovation forum, we were happy to present the technology of the future. Now we take the next step with DRONAMICS, and with the support of Skeyes, the Belgian Air Traffic Control organization who is playing a leading role in regulation for drones. LGG is looking forward to add this cutting-edge technology to its multimodal logistics approach,” says Steven Verhasselt, VP Commercial at Liège Airport.
“The partnership with DRONAMICS is key for us in this critical time of high demand for air freight. Earlier this year the whole world saw the effects that border closings and strict quarantine measures had on global supply chains, as the world was and still is combating the COVID-19 pandemic. But when you have a way to move cargo without traveling with it, supply chains become lockdown-proof” says Massimo Roccasecca, Group Cargo Director at SAVE Group, the operator of Brescia Airport. “Joining the strategic positioning of Brescia - in the center of the industrial Italian territory - as an airport that can service international unmanned cargo and serve as a gateway for Italy within this emerging market is a truly exciting opportunity.”
As part of the roll-out, DRONAMICS will base its standardized droneport equipment at each location and will provide same-day domestic and international coverage to the local communities, hiring and training local staff to operate and handle the DRONAMICS flights. The airports will serve as hubs for new route developments, while enabling new business opportunities for the network’s members, both directly in the form of increased cargo throughput and expanded ground operations, and indirectly in the form of increasing access to the local economy for same-day pan-European flights.
The launch of the network happens at a pivotal moment for the drone delivery industry in Europe with the EU’s first unified drone regulations set to kick-in on January 1st, 2021. DRONAMICS is already preparing for the necessary certification under the new rules, aiming to obtain operational authorization by the end of 2021 with the first commercial flights of the same-day drone cargo services expected to begin in early 2022.
Svilen adds, “This is a remarkable milestone for us, but there is a lot left to do. Same-day shipping should be a human right and we are looking forward to further expanding our network of distribution centers both in Europe and worldwide, in order to serve the increasing demands of customers for fast, reliable, and cost-efficient air deliveries. Our end goal is to enable same-day air deliveries for every single person on the planet at a cost that everyone everywhere can afford, and we’re extremely happy that so many great partners are joining us on the journey to making this a reality!”