The use of drones for cargo delivery and other operations continues to grow, and Julie Garland, founder and CEO of Avtrain, argues that Ireland is leading the way on a global scale.

“We are taking over the world – it is the centre of the universe as far as we are concerned,” she enthused. “We have a really positive aviation regulator and companies that are incredibly innovative. We’ve just done the LUC, which is the light unmanned aircraft operator certification, for ASL Airlines which is one of the largest freight movers in the world, and now they are embracing drones.”

The ASL Airlines certification relates to a hub-and-spoke model, taking large scale freight into an airport environment and then creating smaller loads that are sent out to distribution centres, but for companies like Manna Drones, they are focusing on the last mile.

“There is a really broad scale of operators, everything from infrastructure inspections, search and rescue, drone deliveries right up to airlines operating in this environment, so we have it all,” she said. “We have test beds as well so we can do prototype development, prototype flight testing and we’re talking to a few operators about that as well.”
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