The aviation industry is witnessing rapid advancements in the drone and advanced air mobility (AAM) sector, opening up new development opportunities. As a result, Brussels Airport is interested in investing in DronePort, a unique ecosystem that is dedicated to research, innovation, and development in the drone and advanced air mobility market. This investment underscores Brussels Airport’s commitment to fostering innovation and promoting the growth of drones in the industry.
DronePort is situated on the former air force base of Sint-Truiden and is a collaborative project between the Limburg Investment Company LRM, the city of Sint-Truiden, POM Limburg, and JK Invest. The site’s development commenced in 2013 to foster research and innovation in the drone and advanced air mobility sector by creating a comprehensive ecosystem. The ecosystem comprises a regional airport and various services such as a campus, a drone testing site, and an incubator. These serve as a growth platform for businesses seeking to advance in this burgeoning market.
Brussels Airport continues to support innovative drone solutions
Brussels Airport aspires to be a frontrunner in developing and implementing innovative solutions that utilize drones. Consequently, in 2021, Brussels Airport became a shareholder in SkeyDrone, a trailblazer in the realm of drone services and drone management systems. With this planned investment in DronePort, Brussels Airport would also become a co-shareholder, cementing its commitment to promoting the drone industry’s growth.
“By acquiring a 30% stake in DronePort, we will have the opportunity to take a unique position in this emerging industry,” explains Arnaud Feist CEO of Brussels Airport Company. “We are increasingly investing in the development of innovative technologies and are working on various drone projects, including airport security and operational efficiency. With this participation in DronePort, Brussels Airport wants to strengthen its role in the development of solutions and services based on drone technology.”
Investment will expedite the expansion of DronePort infrastructure
This proposed capital injection will provide DronePort with the resources required to sustain and expedite the expansion of its infrastructure and ecosystem. The shareholder collaboration will enable the acceleration of co-creation and the fostering of the drone community and its advancements, both within Belgium and beyond. The partners share a collective goal of transforming DronePort into an internationally renowned drone airport.
“DronePort was founded a few years ago, already responding to the burgeoning drone industry and was ahead of its time thanks to its unique test facilities, incubation operation and infrastructure. The entry of Brussels Airport Company will herald a new chapter for DronePort, a next step in the company’s life cycle. Brussels Airport is a strong strategic partner with solid aviation knowledge, a clear ambition and an international network that will help DronePort scale up to a reference in the drone sector at European level”, says Tom Vanham, General Manager of LRM.
The transaction is subject to finalization and approval by the relevant competition authorities and respective governing bodies and is expected to close in mid-2023 (DronePort).
Post Image: DronePort (Image Credit- DronePort)
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