Skyports, the world-leading operator of cargo drone deliveries and advanced air mobility infrastructure, has formally received a first-in-EU Light UAS Operator Certificate from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
The certification allows for the first time, Beyond Visual Line of Sight drone operations. The certificate was handed over to Skyports by the Irish Aviation Regulator, Diarmuid Ó Conghaile, allowing remotely operated drone flights from the Shannon-based vertiport.
The LUC is recognised in all European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) member countries allowing UAS operators to conduct flights without first submitting a declaration or obtaining authorisation from aviation authorities beforehand. Skyports is one of a handful of drone operators globally that have been granted the certification to date after demonstrating to the regulator that as an organisation it is capable of assessing the risk of an operation itself.
As an LUC holder, Skyports will be able to expand its proven drone delivery service within the medical, maritime and logistics sectors across Europe, building on recent high-profile successes most notably in the UK.
Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said: “The Light UAS Operator Certificate creates new opportunities for Skyports in Europe – one of our key markets. Obtaining certification is a landmark moment for our drone delivery business that will enable us to deploy our service more efficiently and meet our customers’ needs more quickly. Receipt of an LUC is also an enormous privilege for us as a safety organisation and reflects our commitment to achieving the very highest safety standards wherever we operate.”
Speaking at the issuance of the Certificate, the Aviation Regulator / CEO Designate of the IAA, Mr. Diarmuid Ó Conghaile, commented on the significance of this latest development in the fastest growing segment of the aviation industry: “We are delighted to be the first Regulator in the EU to issue a beyond visual line of sight Light UAS Operator Certificate. The is an exciting development for the European drone sector; in this case providing Skyports with ground-breaking access to a European market of 500 million potential customers.
In preparation of its application for the LUC, Skyports worked with Julie Garland, chief executive of Ireland-based Avtrain, one of Europe’s leading drone training and certification organisations, who provided support on the documentation and provided EASA certification of Skyports’ pilots.