Japanese government fund, Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN), has announced its decision and receipt of approval from the Minister of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, to invest EUR10 million in the Belgium-based Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) company Unifly, together with Japan’s industrial drone solution company, Terra Drone. The proceeds will be used to continue product development and solidify our position as the most reliable and sustainable UTM system provider, says Unifly.
Through this investment, JOIN and Terra Drone intend to support the development of the UTM system which enables safe and efficient drone and aircraft flight management. This project marks JOIN’s first investment in the drone industry.
Founded in 2015, Unifly holds seven national level contracts including NAV CANADA, Canadian Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), and German ANSP – DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH – being one of its major shareholders. Diverse and notable shareholders are backing the long-term success of Unifly. Utilising Terra Drone’s knowledge and network, Unifly intends to expand UTM worldwide.
Toru Tokushige, CEO of Terra Drone said: “Our airspace is going to get more crowded than ever. There’s an urgent need for a global traffic management solution to enable safe and efficient drone and UAM operations. Terra Drone aims to be the leading player building the digital infrastructure in the sky together with Unifly.”
Tatsuhiko Takesada, President & CEO at JOIN, said: “Through its equity participation in Unifly, JOIN expects to contribute to the realization of safe and secure aircraft, airport and port operations and enhancement of drone operation management. JOIN aims to support the expansion of the use of drones in a wide range of fields and further build its growth in the drone industry.”
In the last twelve months, Unifly reached significant milestones including but not limited to the following:
- Canadian ANSP NAV CANADA launched Nav Drone together with Unifly, to support flight authorisations as part of the nationwide UTM system, available on web and mobile devices, providing supervisor users and drone operators with the necessary tools to safely fly drones in the Canadian airspace.
- Spanish ANSP Enaire awarded a contract for automated and digital drone management platform (U-Space) to Indra in partnership with Unifly and Airbus, with the objective to go live with a U-Space compliant system in 2023.
- Port of Antwerp has developed and launched a UTM platform together with Unifly, to digitalise and automate requests for drone flights by operators. Port of Antwerp has become the first seaport in the world to manage its own airspace as a geozone manager, with a focus on coordinating safe drone operations in the port area.
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