With the launch of the Malta Drone Centre and an Innovation Ecosystem, Malta is primed as a hub for the international drone industry. Hawk Aerospace COO Roger Xuereb Archer and Vantage UAV founder Richard Scriven, co-founders of Malta Drone Centre Ltd, have joined forces, taking the next step to propel drones into the future of the corporate world.
“We are proud to have set up Malta Drone Centre Ltd (MDC Ltd), the first professional drone academy of its kind,” said Scriven. “It has taken a lot of hard work and effort, made easier by working with such open and like-minded people at Malta Enterprise, who have been just as dedicated to making this happen. This milestone is just the end of the beginning, and we are excited for what the future holds for the drone industry both in Malta and internationally.”
Recognising a possible economic niche in the growing interest in drone technology, Malta Enterprise and Transport Malta have collaborated to help the drone industry take flight locally. Transport Malta acts as regulator, introducing EU directives relevant to the sector and launching new regulations that require drones of a certain size to be licenced and insured. Meanwhile, Malta Enterprise has supported the launch of a new Malta Drone Innovation Ecosystem in February 2021, clearing the way for the Malta Drone Centre to be opened shortly after.
MDC Ltd’s €500,000 investment is intended as an opportunity for foreign and local companies to carry out tests on drones in Malta, as well as professionally train drone pilots ready for a variety of industries.
“The current demand for drone services is huge, and the trajectory for growth is substantial,” added Scriven, who departed the financial services and property sectors in 2016 to found Vantage UAV Ltd, a UK- and New York-based global UAV/ Drone inspection services company.
“Last year, the industry’s global revenue was £6.5 billion, and this is expected to hit £35 billion by 2025. Currently, drones are still considered a novelty, with a ‘wow’ factor, but it is our aim to make them more mainstream and for individuals and businesses to appreciate what drones can do for them. This is only the beginning.”
Xuereb Archer, himself a stalwart of the aviation world and with 10 years’ experience in the drone industry, agrees that while the time is ripe for drones to take the spotlight, an educational phase to shift the public psyche is first necessary.
“The traditional processes in any industry may well be less cost-effective and more time-consuming than using drones, but these processes are sometimes embedded into the organisation and so are difficult to change. Through MDC Ltd, we are bridging that knowledge gap, training drone pilots specifically to operate within – and improve – their respective industries.”
And while the Drone Ecosystem will attract companies that test, manufacture and assemble drones to Malta, testing prototypes requires pilots with specific skills. Apart from having drone flying expertise, these pilots must also test drones that carry payloads such as optical or infrared cameras, or packages such as medical or food supplies using the targeted training received via MDC Ltd.
“The functionality of drones is almost endless – and therefore, so are the career opportunities as a drone pilot, especially as anyone from any industry can be trained from scratch through the Centre,” continued Scriven.
“Drones can be used in logistics to deliver goods, in surveillance and security to check if a perimeter fence or skyscraper is safe and secure. They can cut costs, time and risk in the inspection of assets such as properties or wind turbines, they can be used in surveying, transport, mapping, and there are certain drones that can even fly underground as they have no need of contact with satellites.”
And the world’s drone journey is only just taking off, concluded Xuereb Archer.
“There are so many diverse use cases that the trajectory of the drone industry can only keep rising. We predict that take on will become ever more rapid into areas we can’t even dream of today.”
Source: Times of Malta
UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2021/04/02/malta-drone-centre-launches-with-500k-investment/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.