Skyports Partners with MassDOT for Drone Testing – The National Law Review
Related Practices & Jurisdictions
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Skyports, a leading drone services provider, recently announced that it has partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division to demonstrate how it can link communities in the Cape Cod region using its drone services. This partnership stems from MassDOT’s need to find a solution for connecting some of its remote communities to everyday services like healthcare and logistics, and, more pressingly, to provide emergency medical delivery after a natural disaster. Due to the islands, peninsulas, and offshore energy projects, the Cape Cod region has many hard-to-reach communities. Skyports presents a solution: its drones are capable of safely flying in harsh weather conditions and can carry cargo payloads of up to 100 pounds.
Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Skyports the approval for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights during a week-long feasibility project. During the project, MassDOT will explore BVLOS drone operations in Massachusetts, including this reach to remote communities as well as for rail network and road inspections.
MassDOT Aeronautics Administrator, Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo, said, “MassDOT is excited to be working with Skyports for this first delivery demonstration, helping us establish a foundation for new, innovative drone use cases to support communities across the Commonwealth. The Aeronautics Division established the Drone Program after recognizing the potential of drones to support MassDOT’s traditional inspection and asset management missions. We are now exploring new drone use cases such as emergency delivery and are fortunate to be able to partner with companies like Skyports that are pushing innovative technologies and operations.”
MassDOT currently uses drones as part of its transportation infrastructure program to perform daily flights along the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to inspect rail tracks and document the health of wetlands near construction sites, as well as for mapping highway and airports. MassDOT has now turned to Skyports to assist in its emergency delivery operations and to test flights across Vineyard Sound.
Upon completion of the test flights and demonstrations, Skyports will move permanently into full scale commercial operations in Massachusetts. Skyports then hopes to expand its operations across the U.S.
Copyright © 2021 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 357