Unifly, a subsidiary of Terra Drone Corporation specializing in Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management (UTM) systems, in collaboration with SkeyDrone, has announced an upgrade to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ (PoAB) UTM system, DronePortal. This enhancement is set to improve the efficiency of drone operations within the complex airspace of the Port of Antwerp and extend its services to include the Port of Bruges, marking a significant step towards achieving U-space readiness in the region.
Since its initial operation in the Antwerp Port area in March 2021, the system has processed over 5,000 flight authorizations. The upgrade introduces optimized automated approvals, better integration support for drone operations, and improvements in the User Interface (UI)/User Experience (UX), leveraging the latest version of Unifly’s product.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is on track to become the first official U-space airspace in Europe, a testament to its growing role as a central hub for drone activities in Belgium, facilitating the highest volume of drone flights in the country. The port’s advancement in drone operations, including the D-Hive project enabling scalable Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights and various other drone operations within the same airspace, underscores its leadership in the drone ecosystem.
Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital Information & Innovation Officer at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, expressed the port’s strategic focus on innovation: “Embracing innovation is at the heart of our strategy, and this partnership with SkeyDrone and Unifly reaffirms our commitment to fostering a smart, connected, and future-ready port. Together, we’re shaping a new frontier in uncrewed aerial operations.”
Hendrik-Jan Van Der Gucht, Managing Director of SkeyDrone, emphasized the significance of the DronePortal upgrade for U-space readiness: “With this upgrade of the DronePortal, SkeyDrone is not only enhancing the user experience for drone operators but is also taking the next step towards U-space readiness, ensuring safe and seamless integration of unmanned aerial vehicles in the European airspace.”
Andres Van Swalm, CEO of Unifly, highlighted the system upgrade’s impact: “We are excited about the growing number of drone operators gearing up for autonomous flights. The recent system upgrade, extending support to the Port of Bruges and advancing PoAB towards U-Space readiness, is a significant milestone. The PoAB stands as a global exemplar of how drones can be seamlessly integrated into non-segregated airspace.”