FMCI and associated partners are working collectively to bring advanced air mobility to Ireland through the necessary expert advice and physical infrastructure for researching and testing innovations for UAV operations and applications
From left to right: Russell Vickers, CEO Future Mobility Campus Ireland, Julie Garland, CEO Avtrain and John Drysdale, Business Development Manager Shannon IASC. Picture by Arthur Ellis.
Ireland’s First Passenger and Cargo Vertiport
In May 2021, a partnership between FMCI, Skyports, Avtrain and Shannon Group as been established to work towards launching an operational vertiport at Shannon’s FMCI campus in 2022. This partnership will encourage R&D activities and investment in Ireland’s Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) industry. This will lead to the establishment of Ireland’s first drone air taxi service and routine beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.
The roadmap of this consortium includes a major milestone for launching beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) proof-of-concept operations in September 2021 in Shannon. These operations will validate state-of-the-art technologies of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and showcase the benefits in Ireland and beyond.
UAV Testing in Shannon
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market size is projected to reach $133.5B by 2026
- Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) segment will be the largest part of this market
- Test beds will be required to certify these Vehicles
- FMCI infrastructure will enable testing of both road and air
- Significant opportunity to demonstrate and prove the safety and management of both manned and unmanned airspace
- Shannon airport and the surrounding estuary provide unique capabilities for testing
FMCI and supporting partners aim to:
- Create Ireland’s first dedicated UAV testing and Vertiport facility
- Facility will be used to test and certify airworthiness for these aircraft initially
- Vertiport could be then used for regional operations as the service and UAVs become certified
- Shannon has the potential to be the leading center for system development, testing, training and certification
- Potential to further grow Future Mobility ecosystem in Shannon