California’s SBD UAS Center partners with Transport Malta to harmonise US-EU industry development

The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Center at San Bernadino (SBD) in California has set up a strategic initiative with Transport Malta – part of the Civil Aviation Directorate – and Malta’s Civil Aviation Authority, to expand the use of Malta’s infrastructure by US drone manufacturers and software providers to support research, development and global commercialization objectives.

Malta is recognized worldwide as a key hub for aviation, with UAS technology as an increasing focus. Malta’s active government support for the UAS industry is a key differentiating factor, as well as their expertise in terms of coordinating with the European Union Safety Administration (EASA) and other critical government bodies, says the press release.

This initiative, formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding, provides a solid platform to leverage the capabilities of both entities, with the UAS Center at SBD serving as an advantageous Southern California testing and demonstration site for drone companies based in and around Malta.

This partnership was made possible with the assistance of the US Department of Commerce’s US Commercial Service working in tandem with the US Embassy in Malta to facilitate the relationship between the two parties.

“Aerospace is an increasingly important sector for our regional economy, and we are thrilled to support the UAS Center at SBD’s efforts to support the growth of US drone manufacturers and software providers as they partner with Transport Malta,” said Eduard Roytberg, Director of the US Commercial Service/International Trade Administration in Ontario, California.

“On behalf of CAD I would like to thank both the US Embassy and the UAS Center at SBD for the collaboration and we really look forward to taking this one step further for the benefit of all concerned,” states Captain Charles Pace, Director General, CAD. “We certainly can assist and also gain experience through such cooperation and quality projects that come to our shores.”

“The UAS Center at SBD, located onsite at San Bernardino International Airport, the fastest growing airport in the United States for air cargo, is committed to the advancement and global competitiveness of US companies engaged in developing UAS technology,” states Kimberly Benson, the UAS Center at SBD’s Administrator. “Our partnership with Transport Malta will enable our client companies to scale in the European market more quickly and efficiently. Companies on both sides of the Atlantic will benefit from the unique advantages of our respective locations.”

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(Image: Luqa, Malta – June 7, 2021: Maltese Air Force IAI Heron Shoval Drone (Reg.: AS2132) returning to land after a surveillance flight to the south of Malta – Shutterstock)

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