The London-based company has previously flown its drones in Scotland to carry Covid-19 samples and test kits.
UK air mobility company Skysports has been granted a licence for its remotely operated drone flights to operate in Ireland.
Backed by former Ryanair CEO Declan Ryan’s Irelandia Aviation, Skysports develops drone technologies for passenger air taxis and delivery services. It announced a multimillion euro investment to establish a base at Shannon’s new Future Mobility Campus in May.
Skysports says its certification from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is the first of its kind in the EU to permit self-authorisation of Beyond Visual Line of Sight drone flights.
Known as the Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC), the certificate is recognised in all EU member states and gives drone operators certain privileges, such as self-authorising operations without applying for additional authorisation.
When a LUC applicant has demonstrated certain necessary capabilities, the IAA can issue the certificate and assign privileges to the drone operators based on their level of maturity.
“The LUC creates new opportunities for Skyports in Europe – one of our key markets,” Skysports CEO Duncan Walker said. “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.”
The London-based company has previously flown its fleet of drones in Scotland to carry Covid-19 samples and test kits faster than they can be carried on roads. Skysports now intends to expand its services in the medical, maritime and logistics across Europe.
“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,” CEO designate of the IAA Diarmuid Ó Conghaile said.
“Drone services are an increasingly important part of the commercial aviation landscape and provide a competitive alternative to traditional service delivery.”
Skysports has also operated an inter-island medical drone delivery service between the Isles of Scilly in south-west England for Royal Mail.
“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,” added Walker.
In May, the IAA issued its first LUC to Irish drone delivery start-up Manna following trials of its drone delivery services in the west of Ireland.
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