Terra Drone enters US market with largest shareholding of Aloft Technologies

Japanese drone services company Terra Drone has announced an investment in US airspace management company Aloft Technologies. The investment makes Terra Drone the largest shareholder in Aloft, with Aloft becoming an affiliate company of Terra Drone. In addition, the board of directors of Aloft has appointed Yuki Ueno, Terra Drone’s executive officer in charge of domestic and international Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management (UTM) business, to the Aloft board.

The partnership also marks Terra Drone’s official entry into the US, which is considered the world’s largest market for drones and AAMs. Together with Aloft and Unifly, a Belgium-based UTM provider that became a Terra Drone subsidiary in July 2023, Terra Drone is positioned to contribute to the development of the UTM ecosystem on a global scale, says the press release.

Compared to Japan, there are approximately 2.4 times as many registered drones and 62 times as many registered manned aircraft in the US. Additionally, a number of US companies are developing and manufacturing drones and UAMs. In July 2023, the FAA released an implementation plan “Innovate 2028” providing the steps it and others will need to take to safely enable advanced air mobility operations in the near term.

“The integration of UTM systems is pivotal for the expansion, scalability, and sustainability of global drone operations,” stated Jon Hegranes, Founder and CEO of Aloft. “Our collaboration with Terra Drone positions us at the forefront of this evolution, offering us the unique opportunity to harmonize operational standards and leverage technology to enhance the efficiency and reach of drone flights on an international scale.”

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