Dronamics chooses Malta as cargo drone delivery base


Dronamics, a manufacturer and services company of mid-mile automated cargo drones, has announced that it has selected the island of Malta as the first European operational base for its automated unmanned delivery business.

Dronamics, which has already partnered with global freight companies DHL and Helmann Worldwide Logistics, has chosen Malta to operate its same-day drone delivery service over average kilometers, piloted by its Black Swan fixed-wing craft. . The company chose the Mediterranean island after extensive consultation with several national civil aviation authorities across Europe, as well as with its main customers. Dronamics has announced plans to launch its Automated Beyond Line of Sight Missions (BVLOS) next year.

At first glance, Malta may seem like a curious choice to centralize the company’s first main base. This position in the Mediterranean Sea adds 166 miles to any flight from the Maltese capital Valletta to Palermo in Sicily, and 341 miles to Naples. Roughly the same distances will be added to any drone flight to Europe north of there.

But the island has also been a historic stepping stone for the air transport of goods, mail and other cargo between Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Now the Maltese authorities hope to extend this 20th century activity to the emerging drone companies of that time. As recently as last week, unmanned long-range helicopter company SwissDrones carried out a long series of BVLOS test flights over and around Malta, with a view to expanding the use of its gear in the area.

Dronamics says it believes Malta’s history as an air transport hub connecting surrounding regions and continents – and the country’s eagerness to adapt its airspace and control systems to drones – will make it an ideal setting. to base and build its drone freight delivery service to Europe and beyond.

“Malta has become a thriving hub with a strong aviation hub that can support our expansion as a global cargo drone airline,” said Svilen Rangelov, CEO of Dronamics. “We are very pleased that Malta is the first country in Europe that we serve, and its strategic position and great commercial heritage make it the ideal location for our European base. ”

“Malta is the ideal operational and strategic location for our first Black Swan flights,” adds Sergio Oliveira e Silva, COO of Dronamics. “Our aim is to connect Malta first with Italy, where the Italian Civil Aviation Authority has established test-bed airports for the testing of remotely piloted aircraft systems. Transport Malta and the Directorate of Civil Aviation have given us a clear path to establish our first trade routes and we aim to perform the first demonstration flights in 2022. ”

The support of the Maltese authorities will also be useful in facilitating the certification of Black Swan drones in the country. Dronamics says the craft – which can carry up to 350 kg of cargo over distances up to 2,500 km – operates at costs between 50% and 80% lower than existing aircraft.

In July, DHL partnered with the company to launch future mid-range, cross-border and inter-city drone cargo delivery missions. The previous month, German freight forwarder Helmann Worldwide Logistics announced that it would operate longer delivery flights covering the whole of the European Union.

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