Terra Drone Corporation, a prominent Japanese-based drone and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) technology provider, has announced an investment in Aloft Technologies. Aloft is renowned for its focus on Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management (UTM) development and its leading position in drone fleet and airspace management within the United States market.

This investment establishes Terra Drone as the primary shareholder in Aloft, integrating Aloft as an affiliated company within Terra Drone’s network. Moreover, Yuki Ueno, Terra Drone’s executive officer overseeing domestic and international UTM operations, has been appointed to Aloft’s board of directors.

This collaboration signifies Terra Drone’s official expansion into the US market, recognized as the world’s largest sector for drones and AAM systems. Alongside Aloft and Unifly, a UTM provider based in Belgium Terra Drone acquired in July 2023, Terra Drone is poised to play a pivotal role in advancing the global UTM ecosystem.

Toru Tokushige, Founder and CEO of Terra Drone, says, “We see a future where drones and AAMs become a part of our daily lives. The implementation and seamless operation of a UTM system are essential to make this dream a reality. We have been focusing on UTM technology since the dawn of drones, with our earliest investment in Unifly dating back to 2016. Now, as drones and AAMs move into a new phase of development, UTM has become a priority for aviation authorities around the world. By investing in Aloft and becoming its largest shareholder, we intend to further evolve UTM on a global level. We also plan to expand aggressively in the U.S., considered to be the largest market for drones and AAMs.”

“The integration of UTM systems is pivotal for the expansion, scalability, and sustainability of global drone operations,” stated Jon Hegranes, Founder and CEO of Aloft. Our collaboration with Terra Drone positions us at the forefront of this evolution, offering us the unique opportunity to harmonize operational standards and leverage technology to enhance the efficiency and reach of drone flights on an international scale.

Compared to Japan, the United States has approximately 2.4 times more registered drones and a staggering 62 times more registered manned aircraft. Many U.S. enterprises actively develop and produce drones and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) systems. In July 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unveiled an implementation strategy titled “Innovate 2028,” outlining the necessary measures for safely facilitating advanced air mobility operations in the foreseeable future.

Aloft was founded in 2015. With investments from commercial aircraft and space equipment manufacturer Boeing’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) and Travelers Insurance, one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S., Aloft is a leading supplier of Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) certified UAS services, powering over 84% of all airspace authorizations as of October in 2022. Last year, it announced that it had surpassed 1 million Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) requests.

Aloft also provides a cloud-based drone fleet management system that enables centralized aircraft and pilot information management. The solution supports complete drone operations, efficiently managing workflows from pre-flight to post-flight, and achieving automation and compliance. Other key features of the solution include aircraft and asset management, real-time live video sharing, and two-way voice communication. Every major industry has adopted the Aloft platform for mission-critical drone operations management, including energy, utilities, oil and gas, media, construction, insurance, and public safety. Moreover, Aloft is SOC2 Type II and ISO 27001 certified for security.