KDDI and Japan Airlines “partner to accelerate BVLOS and flights-over-people operations”

Japanese mobile network operator KDDI is partnering with Japan Airlines to expand its drone services, reports UAS Vision. According to news service NHK “KDDI has been putting more resources into drone-operation systems, leveraging its communications technology. The tie-up will allow KDDI to tap JAL’s expertise in managing flight operations. The two companies are anticipating large numbers of drones flying in the skies over Japan in the near future. From the next fiscal year starting in April, drone operators in Japan will be allowed to fly the aircraft beyond their line of sight, even when there are people below.

“The companies plan to conduct test flights for transporting goods to remote islands. They will jointly develop services for businesses and local governments that hope to use drones. KDDI is targeting revenue of 10 billion yen, or more than 80 million dollars, from the drone business in the year through March 2025.”

Earlier in 2022 KDDI established a consolidated subsidiary “KDDI SmartDrone Inc.”

According to the company:

“KDDI began its initiatives aimed at commercializing drones in 2016. By controlling drones using 4G LTE and other mobile telecommunications technologies, we have built up services that realize safe remote and long-distance flights. By succeeding the drone business to KDDI Smart Drone, we aim to realize new drone-based businesses by using 4G LTE / 5G, and provide dynamic drone services to meet customer needs in various fields such as inspection, logistics, monitoring, agriculture, and surveying.”

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