ANTWERP, August 22, 2023 – Terra Drone Corporation, a prominent player in the drone and UAM industry, has acquired majority shares in Unifly NV, the recognized UTM global leader. Terra Drone's stake in Unifly has risen to 51%. Unifly's stakeholders share a unified commitment to the company's long-term vision. Terra Drone's initial investment dates back to 2016, with Unifly also securing shareholders such as PMV, the Flemish government investment fund. Subsequent investments came from strategic partner and customer DFS, the German Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), followed by FPIM, the Federal Public Holding Fund of the Belgian Government in 2018. JOIN, the Japanese government fund under the Ministry of Transport, made a contribution in 2022.
In 2016, when the drone market was still emerging, Terra Drone recognized the immense potential of digital infrastructure to ensure safety and efficiency in the skies, essential for the expansive growth of the industry. Unifly now serves ANSPs and operates UTM systems across more than 8 countries, solidifying its market-leading position. The market widely acknowledges Unifly's technical expertise and unwavering reliability.
Unifly’s UTM platform is used globally, adeptly navigating complex regulatory environments. It fully complies with Europe's U-space regulation while adapting to Canada's RPAS Regulation. Notably, Unifly serves ANSPs like ENAIRE in Spain and skeyes in Belgium, who have been pioneering U-Space establishment. In live Air Traffic Management (ATM) scenarios, the system facilitates the coexistence of drones with manned aircraft. NAV CANADA's extensively uses the platform within controlled airspace, processing over 100,000 flight approvals.
Furthermore, Unifly is at the forefront of propelling R&D initiatives in both the USA and Europe, dedicated to establishing benchmarks and offering guidance in UTM and UAM. Unifly also highlights local deployments such as the Port of Antwerp, where autonomous Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights operate daily. In Saudi Arabia, Unifly has been selected as the designated UTM platform for NEOM, a visionary mega-city project set to be entirely supported by Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM).
Merging Unifly's well-established capabilities, with Terra Drone's ambition, a significant boost can be foreseen in the global development and evolution of UAM and UTM. This collaboration is crucial for shaping the future of aviation.
Comments from Toru Tokushige, Founder and CEO of Terra Drone:
"From the beginning of the drone industry, Terra Drone saw the immense potential of UTM. Our recent decision to acquire the majority shares in Unifly is a testament to our commitment to deepen this relationship. Unifly is focused on strengthening this partnership by using their advanced technology and experience to improve the safe and efficient use of drones in key areas like surveying, inspections, logistics, security, and disaster response, among others. This partnership brings us a significant step closer to realizing our vision."
Comments from Andres Van Swalm, Founder and CEO of Unifly,
"Unifly is dedicated to enabling the future of autonomous aviation. With Terra Drone's dedication to accelerate the growth of the UAM and drone industry, our collective vision is set to become a reality sooner than anticipated. Standing at the forefront of UTM development, we have become an industry-respected thought leader. As a leading UTM technology provider, our primary goal is to enhance the safety and efficiency of autonomous aviation in everyday life. Together, we are shaping the drone and UTM industry on a global scale, and I'm confident that our united efforts will expedite the realization of our shared vision."