Drone delivery Skyports has made another move toward pushing drones into the mainstream by partnering with Robotic Skies, an unmanned aircraft service and maintenance provider, after conducting successful beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) trials in rural Scotland.
While both companies are startups, Skyports has raised more than 6 million pounds ($7.8 million) over two rounds of funding, and Robotic Skies is receiving support from Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Boeing’s investment capital arm.
The partnership between the startups will grant Skyports access to Robotic Skies’ expanding network of service centers, positioning the drone logistics company to operate in more than 40 countries. Robotic Skies positions its service centers to operate alongside existing certified aircraft maintenance facilities, creating drone infrastructure in places where there’s already proven demand for airfreight operations.
According to Brad Hayden, founder and CEO of Robotic Skies, the drone maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) space is currently undergoing rapid change as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators phase out consumer-grade craft and begin to rely on “mission-specific” craft instead. “These larger systems are not expendable, and they need to be maintained and repaired more like traditional aircraft,” Hayden said.
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