Drone capabilities are set to expand at the Westcott Space Cluster as leading drone service provider Skyports selects the southern England site as its European headquarters and center of excellence.
In partnership with Satellite Applications Catapult, which works with UK industry to drive innovation and economic growth, Skyports plans to use state-of-the-art Westcott Space Cluster facilities to remotely operate its Beyond Visual Line Sight (BVLOS) flights of drones.
Skyports will develop the location as a global command and control center for delivery, survey and surveillance drone missions, utilizing the site’s multi-redundant internet networking capabilities to enable remote flight operations around the world. Additionally, the company will develop the site as a center of excellence for its world-class pilots.
The Westcott site stands out as a leader in innovative technology development and services, spanning across multiple sectors including space, healthcare, agriculture, engineering, manufacturing, and is now called to become a one-stop center for drone operations and innovation.
Skyports is a pioneering drone service provider with a host of world-first operations under its belt. Skyports operates drone services for various industries and use cases, including ship-to-shore deliveries, BVLOS drone surveying and surveillance, and medical drone logistics. The company’s standalone BVLOS capabilities significantly reduce operational time and overhead, providing cheaper, faster and more reliable service for hard-to-reach areas and critical services.
Martin Smye-Rumsby, Westcott Regional Manager at Satellite Applications Catapult, said:
“I am delighted that Skyports has chosen Westcott to develop its pioneering drone services. Westcott has a distinguished history of testing and development, so it’s only fitting that the Westcott Innovation Center is where Skyports will continue to grow its pioneering operations. By using space data and technology, companies like Skyports will provide services that will improve the lives of all of us. Skyports have already worked on a fantastic healthcare initiative with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Argyll & Bute HSCP to significantly improve logistics and save time when delivering medical services in the Argyll & Bute area .
Alex Brown, Head of Drone Services at Skyports, said:
“Our move to Westcott Space Cluster and our collaboration with Satellite Applications Catapult is a testament to the fact that drone services have become an essential solution for improving critical services with more sustainable and cost-effective alternatives. We look forward to moving our operational headquarters to an environment that will foster innovation and research and allow us to demonstrate and expand our capabilities.
The growth of the UK space sector is successfully driven by space clusters like Westcott, where an ecosystem of established companies work together to undertake research and development of cutting-edge technologies and services.