The drone and advanced air mobility sector is evolving rapidly and offers new development opportunities for the aviation industry. That is why Brussels Airport wants to invest in DronePort, a unique ecosystem focused on research, innovation and development in the drone and Advanced Air Mobility market. With this investment, Brussels Airport wants to further support innovation and development in the field of drones.
DronePort is located on the former air force base of Sint-Truiden, and is an initiative of the Limburg Investment Company LRM, the city of Sint-Truiden, POM Limburg and JK Invest. The development of the site started in 2013, and DronePort aims to stimulate research and innovation by creating an ecosystem for the drone and Advanced Air Mobility sector. This ecosystem includes a regional airport as well as various services including a campus, a drone test site and an incubator that form a growth platform for companies that want to further develop this new market.
Brussels Airport has the ambition to play a leading role in the development and application of innovative solutions based on the use of drones. In 2021, Brussels Airport has therefore already become a shareholder in SkeyDrone, a pioneer in the field of drone services and drone management systems. Due to this intended capital injection in DronePort, Brussels Airport would now also become a co-shareholder.
“By acquiring a 30% stake in DronePort, we will have the opportunity to take a unique position in this emerging industry,” explains Arnaud Feist CEO of Brussels Airport Company. “We are increasingly investing in the development of innovative technologies and are working on various drone projects, including airport security and operational efficiency. With this participation in DronePort, Brussels Airport wants to strengthen its role in the development of solutions and services based on drone technology.”
This intended capital increase will enable DronePort to continue and accelerate the development of their infrastructure and ecosystem. The shareholder partnership makes it possible to accelerate co-creation and to promote the drone community and its developments in Belgium and beyond. The partners have the joint ambition to develop DronePort into a drone airport with an international reputation.
“DronePort was founded a few years ago, already responding to the burgeoning drone industry and was ahead of its time thanks to its unique test facilities, incubation operation and infrastructure. The entry of Brussels Airport Company will herald a new chapter for DronePort, a next step in the company’s life cycle. Brussels Airport is a strong strategic partner with solid aviation knowledge, a clear ambition and an international network that will help DronePort scale up to a reference in the drone sector at European level”, says Tom Vanham, General Manager of LRM.
The transaction is subject to finalization and approval by the relevant competition authorities and respective governing bodies and is expected to close in mid-2023.
Jeroen Bloemen, LRM spokesperson
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