Skyports Receives Light UAS Operator Certificate, So They Can Self-Authorize BVLOS Flights

Skyports light uas operator certificateSkyports Obtains Light UAS Operator Certificate to Self-Authorize Drone Flights

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Skyports, the world-leading operator of cargo drone deliveries and advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure, has been granted a Light UAS Operator Certificate from the Irish Aviation Authority, allowing them to self-authorise Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights. This is the first certificate of its kind issued by an EU regulator.

Recognised in all European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) member countries, the LUC allows UAS operators to conduct flights without first having to submit a declaration or receive authorisation from aviation authorities. Skyports is one of only a few drone operators in the world to have obtained the certification after being deemed capable of assessing the risk of an operation itself.

In order to prepare for its application for the LUC, Skyports worked with Julie Garland, chief executive of Ireland-based Avtrain, one of Europe’s leading drone training and certification organisations, who provided support on the documentation and provided EASA certification of Skyports’ pilots.

Due to its status as an LUC holder, Skyports will be given the opportunity to expand its drone delivery service within the medical, maritime and logistics sectors across Europe, building on the company’s recent high-profile successes.

“The Light UAS Operator Certificate creates new opportunities for Skyports in Europe – one of our key markets,” said Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports. “Obtaining certification is a landmark moment for our drone delivery business that will enable us to deploy our service more efficiently and meet our customers’ needs more quickly.  Receipt of an LUC is also an enormous privilege for us as a safety organisation and reflects our commitment to achieving the very highest safety standards wherever we operate.”

“We are delighted to be the first Regulator in the EU to issue a beyond visual line of sight Light UAS Operator Certificate,” said Diarmuid Ó Conghaile, the Aviation Regulator and CEO Designate of the IAA. “This is an exciting development for the European drone sector; in this case providing Skyports with ground-breaking access to a European market of 500 million potential customers.

Skyports’ drone delivery services have experienced great success in the UK and other locations, having completed such projects as the UK’s first COVID-19 test drone delivery service in Scotland alongside NHS, and the operation of an inter-island medical drone delivery service between the Isles of Scilly for Royal Mail.

“Drone services are an increasingly important part of the commercial aviation landscape and provide a competitive alternative to traditional service delivery,” Ó Conghaile continued. “We look forward to working with the industry to facilitate UAS innovation and competitiveness with the highest safety and security standards, ultimately providing benefits to consumers.”

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.