Drone USA Inc., a New York City-based developer and manufacturer of low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and related technologies, has inked a deal that will allow the company to test UAVs at the airport of Santa Maria island, located in the Azores archipelago in Portugal.
The agreement was signed with the Portuguese government, the Secretaria do Mar, Ciência e Tecnologia; the national aviation authority of Portugal, Navegação Aérea de Portugal; and Aeroportos de Portugal, the airports’ management authority.
“This agreement assures synergy and cooperation between flight operations, air traffic control and the regional government and is unique in terms of all the characteristics that come together to yield an optimal context for our sector,” says Michael Bannon, CEO of Drone USA.
The company says it is discussing a proposal to create a UAV program based on medium-altitude, long-endurance systems, tailored to the specific needs of the nine-island archipelago and aimed at creating jobs and contributing to the local economy.
The initiative intends to address needs such as the enforcement of fishery regulations, search-and-rescue operations, disaster response, prevention of contraband, environmental protection and scientific research. The proposal will be further discussed with the regional government, as well as the governmental and military entities in Lisbon, says Drone USA.
“We are very excited with this agreement we signed with Drone USA, and I believe that the Azores offer a unique setting to test and develop UAVs for operations over land and sea,” adds Fausto Brito e Abreu, the regional secretary for the sea, science, and technology.