Boeing has announced its investment in Kittyhawk, a San Francisco-based company offering a unified approach to the safe operation of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
Kittyhawk’s technology will support development of a UAS Traffic Management System (UTM) that enables piloted and autonomous air vehicles to safely coexist. The company has developed enterprise software and mobile-based apps that integrate real-time UAS flight operations and management solutions all in one platform. Since its founding in 2015, Kittyhawk has grown its customer base to include companies in media, insurance, energy, rail transportation and fire and emergency management agencies that rely on it for end-to-end drone operations.
Kittyhawk is partnering with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen to expand unmanned operations by participating in the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). LAANC is a collaborative effort to create UTM processes that integrate unmanned aircraft, cargo delivery and beyond visual line of sight operations safely into the airspace.
Boeing HorizonX Ventures participated in this seed funding round led by Bonfire Ventures, with participation by Freestyle Capital.
The future of autonomous flight
Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures, said: “When paired with the broad portfolio of complementary data service offerings within Boeing, Kittyhawk is poised to help us shape the future of safe autonomous flight. We are excited to explore new capabilities made possible through foresight, expertise and a focus on holistic solutions that support the safe integration of unmanned systems into the national airspace.”
Joshua Ziering, founder and chief pilot of Kittyhawk, added: “Boeing’s world-renowned aviation expertise and resources will help Kittyhawk continue to mature our enterprise offerings. Boeing’s long history of forging new industries within the aerospace sector will also help as Kittyhawk continues its mission to create robust, open and interoperable standards to empower the commercial drone industry. We have a unique opportunity to pioneer a new aviation industry and having the support of Boeing will give Kittyhawk the resources and expertise we need to be truly disruptive in this space.”
He added: “We are excited to explore new capabilities made possible through foresight, expertise and a focus on holistic solutions that support the safe integration of unmanned systems into the national airspace.”