Singapore partnership to boost maritime drone operations with enhanced infrastructure

The Singapore Association of Ship suppliers and Services (SASS), Heron AirBridge and CWT Aerospace signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today. The objective is to streamline current workflows and develop dedicated infrastructure to exploit the true value of maritime drone deliveries.

Capitalising on Singapore’s global maritime hub status, the new partnership seeks to highlight the vast benefits of maritime drone operations, such as shorter lead time, an alternative delivery method in case boats are not allowed in poor sea states, sustainability and the increased technology profile of the marine sector.

The new alliance will bring together the three companies’ expertise and resources to tackle the challenges facing the industry. Under the terms of the MOU, they will collaborate to:

  • Streamline workflows and processes that will facilitate drone deliveries between land, vessels and offshore platforms.
  • Improve the digital infrastructure for drone mission planning, vertiport and flight operations, authority oversight and aviation/marine regulatory compliance.
  • Enhance the vertiport infrastructure for logistics processing, customs clearance, aircraft maintenance and storage dedicated to maritime drone support.

Alex Yang, managing director of CWT Aerospace, said, “We will combine our technology and aerospace expertise with the logistics and infrastructure capabilities within the CWT Group to develop concepts, solutions and systems for cargo vertiport operations. Through this cooperation, we look forward to working with SASS and Heron to realise the benefits of drone delivery in Singapore and beyond.”

The ship supply and service industry are constantly under pressure to deliver more cost-effective solutions to our customers. Drone logistics delivery holds tremendous potential to transform how our members serve the shipping industry, Danny Lien, president of the Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers and Services, said. This collaboration with Heron and CWT Aerospace, market leaders in the Singapore aviation and logistics industries, will enable us to develop system-wide end-to-end solutions to make efficient drone deliveries possible.

In the past few years, unmanned drones have performed trial delivery services around the world. Although some successful trials have led to commercial operations, the full potential of marine drone deliveries is yet to be realised due to regulatory restrictions and the lack of a dedicated operational framework across the logistics and cargo industry.

“Drone operations in the maritime environment have unique complexities and challenges due to the unpredictability of weather, ships’ schedules and the need to consider other risks at sea,” Ryan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Heron AirBridge, added. This partnership is a natural extension of our mission to help address the specific needs of the Singapore maritime community.

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