The DRONAMICS European Droneport Network is the world’s first cargo droneport network and includes private airports and airport groups operating more than 35 airports in 11 European countries, connecting 300 million people with a low-cost same-day cargo service. DRONAMICS will operate same-day flights within the network using its proprietary DRONAMICS “Black Swan” large cargo drones, each with a capacity of 350 kg and range of up to 2,500 km, reducing time, cost and emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional air cargo.
The first 5 airports unveiled today are in Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Italy, and Sweden. They include regional leaders in air cargo such as Liège Airport (Belgium), which serves as Alibaba’s European Hub, and Brescia Airport (Italy), the national hub for the Italian postal system, as well as a select number of airports at strategic locations throughout the continent that are on a path to becoming regional air cargo hubs through ambitious investment programs, like Skövde (Sweden), Seinäjoki (Finland) and Osijek (Croatia).
“The power of logistics to unlock economic value and opportunity is second to none. This is why especially in a post-2020 world, it is increasingly important to ensure same-day shipping is available not just in big cities, but in every community, no matter how small or remote. Now, more than ever before, it’s vital for countries to ensure uninterrupted trade and supply lines with their neighbors no matter what, and our international droneport network will allow just that. We are starting with Europe not just because our 2,500 km range allows us to cover the whole continent in one flight, but also because the EU and EASA have shown remarkable regulatory leadership in the field of air mobility, and we are happy to find such great airport partners who will work with us to pioneer this emerging technology,” says Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of DRONAMICS.
“We believe that unmanned air freight will be an important part of the future of the logistics industry. With the capabilities of the Black Swan, DRONAMICS taps into the growing segment of on-demand same-day delivery in e-commerce, pharma and time-critical cargo. Innovation is key in our industry to meet the current and future challenges and developing LGG as a drone hub is part of our strategic plan. At the first edition of the We Cargo Innovation forum, we were happy to present the technology of the future. Now we take the next step with DRONAMICS, and with the support of Skeyes, the Belgian Air Traffic Control organization who is playing a leading role in regulation for drones. LGG is looking forward to add this cutting-edge technology to its multimodal logistics approach,” says Steven Verhasselt, VP Commercial at Liège Airport.
“The partnership with DRONAMICS is key for us in this critical time of high demand for air freight. Earlier this year the whole world saw the effects that border closings and strict quarantine measures had on global supply chains, as the world was and still is combating the COVID-19 pandemic. But when you have a way to move cargo without traveling with it, supply chains become lockdown-proof” says Massimo Roccasecca, Group Cargo Director at SAVE Group, the operator of Brescia Airport. “Joining the strategic positioning of Brescia – in the center of the industrial Italian territory – as an airport that can service international unmanned cargo and serve as a gateway for Italy within this emerging market is a truly exciting opportunity.”
As part of the roll-out, DRONAMICS will base its standardized droneport equipment at each location and will provide same-day domestic and international coverage to the local communities, hiring and training local staff to operate and handle the DRONAMICS flights. The airports will serve as hubs for new route developments, while enabling new business opportunities for the network’s members, both directly in the form of increased cargo throughput and expanded ground operations, and indirectly in the form of increasing access to the local economy for same-day pan-European flights.
The launch of the network happens at a pivotal moment for the drone delivery industry in Europe with the EU’s first unified drone regulations set to kick-in on January 1st, 2021. DRONAMICS is already preparing for the necessary certification under the new rules, aiming to obtain operational authorization by the end of 2021 with the first commercial flights of the same-day drone cargo services expected to begin in early 2022.
Svilen adds, “This is a remarkable milestone for us, but there is a lot left to do. Same-day shipping should be a human right and we are looking forward to further expanding our network of distribution centers both in Europe and worldwide, in order to serve the increasing demands of customers for fast, reliable, and cost-efficient air deliveries. Our end goal is to enable same-day air deliveries for every single person on the planet at a cost that everyone everywhere can afford, and we’re extremely happy that so many great partners are joining us on the journey to making this a reality!”
About DRONAMICS: Based in London (UK) and Sofia (Bulgaria), DRONAMICS is the world’s leading developer and operator of large cargo drones. Its flagship Black Swan unmanned aircraft is able to carry 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km at up to 80% lower cost than any aircraft in existence, enabling same-day shipping over very long distances for e-commerce, pharma, and time-critical shipments. Founded in 2014 by the Rangelov brothers, an economist and an aerospace engineer, the company’s fast-growing team includes some of the world’s top aerospace and logistics experts and is the winner of numerous awards for innovation, including IATA’s Drone Innovation Award. A private company, DRONAMICS is funded by leading entrepreneurs and executives in aviation, logistics, and technology from the US, Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as by Founders Factory, Speedinvest and Eleven Capital. DRONAMICS is IATA’s first Strategic Partner for drones worldwide, and has been named by the European Commission as a Top 10 EU-Africa startup.
About Liège Airport (Belgium): Liège Airport is one of the leading air-cargo hubs in Europe located in the center of the golden triangle Paris – Amsterdam – Frankfurt that handles 66% of European freight. The Airport serves as the European Hub for Alibaba, the global hub of ASL Airlines Belgium (the former TNT Airways), and the European hub for AirBridgeCargo. The airport handled 902,000 tonnes of transported goods in 2019.
About Brescia Airport (Italy): Brescia Montichiari is a cargo-only airport that is the national hub for the Italian postal system. From 2004 to 2012, with the continuous expansion of its cargo-related activities, Brescia Airport came to rank sixth among all Italian airports in terms of cargo transport. In 2020, during the pandemic, Brescia has climbed positions becoming the third national airport in terms of tonnage.
About Osijek Airport (Croatia): Osijek International Airport is serving as a cargo traffic airport serving the complex traffic Pan-European Corridor Vc (road, railway, and river and air traffic) which connects Northern, Central and Southern Europe, as well as the International waterway on the Drava River, which has a connection with the cargo port and Osijek Airport.
About Seinäjoki Airport (Finland): Privately operated since 2016 and embarking on a program of innovation, Seinäjoki Airport is on a path to becoming one of Finland’s leading air cargo hubs for e-commerce shipments internationally and within Finland.
About Skövde Airport (Sweden): In close proximity to both Gothenburg and Stockholm, Skövde airport serves Västra Götaland country and is strategically positioned to capture routes from Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and link to the European capitals.