In a move that will help advance aerial mobility and provide crucial services to remote communities, Skyports Drone Services has announced their partnership with RigiTech to introduce a pioneering drone delivery project in Yeosu City, Korea. The project, supported by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MoLIT), Korea Institute of Aviation Safety Technology (KIAST), and Yeosu City government, marks the dawn of a new era for inter-island drone deliveries within the coastal Yeosu region of Korea.
The Yeosu City drone project is part of a consortium that includes Skyports Drone Services Korea, Marine Drone Tech, and RGB Lab. It will conduct a series of flight trials and proof-of-concept projects aimed at improving the lives of island residents in hard-to-reach areas. This initiative, launched in June and extending until November, highlights the versatility and advantages of drone technology in enhancing welfare, accessibility, and connectivity for these communities.
During the initial phase of the project, regular flights will connect the Yeosu mainland with three islands: Gaedo, Geumodo, and Songdo, creating an airbridge that addresses the unique logistical challenges faced by island residents. Beyond merely delivering goods, the project aims to showcase the feasibility, safety, and benefits of drone operations, offering essential services such as pharmaceutical goods, restaurant food, groceries, and fresh seafood, benefiting both consumers and local businesses.
For the elderly island population, this drone delivery service opens up increased access to medical care and food supplies. The consortium will further explore the possibility of postal deliveries to bolster island residents’ connectivity and access.
The project will utilize RigiTech’s Eiger drone, a versatile light payload electric VTOL aircraft, which has long-distance beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities. This state-of-the-art technology is designed to cater to the geographic challenges posed by the Yeosu region. It will complement the existing Skyports Drone Services fleet, which includes the Swoop Aero Kookaburra III and Kite drones, contributing to ease of scaling and also contingency planning of the operation.
Mitchell Williams, Korea Country Manager at Skyports Drone Services, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, highlighting the project’s potential to connect remote communities in a sustainable and meaningful way. Meanwhile, Adam Klaptocz, co-founder and CEO of RigiTech, praised the project as a reflection of their vision to establish drone delivery networks that enhance the quality of life globally.
Yeosu City officials are also enthusiastic about the project, recognizing it as a driving force in the evolution of drone mobility and a convenience-enhancing initiative for their logistically vulnerable region.
Why it’s important: As the project advances into phase two, its success in Yeosu City could serve as a template for expanding similar drone delivery services to other remote locations, further improving logistics in a use case that the aerial mobility industry can develop upon while also improving the lives of communities worldwide.