Heron AirBridge Partners With Inmarsat

Heron AirBridge Partners With Inmarsat
  • The result from the MoU could be used as a global blueprint
  • The MoU aims to encourage UAV adoption in Singapore

Back row (from left to right): Mr. Yeoh Oon Jin (Chairman, The Singapore Land Authority), Ryan Lee (CEO and co-founder, Heron AirBridge) and Mark Ter Hove (Senior Manager, Advanced Air Mobility, Inmarsat) Front row: Dr. Amy Khor (Senior Minister of State for Transport, Sustainability and the Environment), Ms. Lee Siu Min (Regional Business Development Director, Inmarsat Singapore)

Heron AirBridge announced today an MoU to join Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network (VPN) to collaboratively develop regulatory and operational frameworks and technologies for the safe management of drones in urban environments and complex airspaces. 

The MoU was signed during Drone Asia 2023 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Transport, Sustainability and the Environment, also attended the signing event as the Guest of Honour.

“Our partnership with Inmarsat is a major step towards increasing UAV integration into the city’s crowded airspace and updating regulations so that our efforts can be replicated worldwide,” Ryan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Heron AirBridge, said. 
Joel Klooster, senior vice president of aircraft operations and safety at Inmarsat, added, “Uncrewed aviation is a sector poised for growth. The air vehicles and communications technology are ready, but unlocking their potential hinges on consistent, global regulatory progress.”
The new partnership will enable Heron AirBridge and Inmarsat to combine their capabilities and showcase how satellite-based technology can support the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into Singapore’s commercial airspace. As part of the memorandum, Inmarsat will provide Heron AirBridge with its low size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) terminals to deliver the secure datalink needed for beyond visible line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. This signifies the first application of Velaris technology in the Asia Pacific region.
In collaboration with the aviation community, the two companies intend to co-develop operational standards, frameworks, and technologies to increase the popularity of UAVs in Singapore’s airspace and as a blueprint for future global roll-out.
The Inmarsat cooperation comes on the back of Heron AirBridge’s recent announcement of a strategic alliance with CWT Aerospace and the Singapore Association of Ship suppliers and Services to collaborate on maritime drone logistics. More exciting projects are in the pipeline and will be announced shortly, such as a partnership with King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang to support the research and development of UTM concepts and technologies in Thailand.