On May 5th, the minister of transport, building & housing, Ole Birk Olesen, and the minister of higher education & science, Soren Pind, opened a new BVLOS drone center at Hans Christian Andersen Airport, Odense, under the name of “UAS Denmark”.
The government engagement in UAS Denmark and the new national test center is part of the national drone strategy initiated in Denmark in 2016. The new BVLOS drone center has access to 867 km2 of airspace consisting of three combined restricted areas allowing for BVLOS flights up to 150 kilograms.
Windy weather could not stop the opening of the new BVLOS drone center, as the minister of higher education & science, Soren Pind and the minister of transport, building & housing, Ole Birk Olesen, inaugurated the brand new international BVLOS drone center, where the Danish drone manufacturer, Sky-Watch, officially launched the center with the fixed-wing platform Cumulus V1. The event was held at the new drone hangar, which is being renovated this summer with drone-, composite-, and systems integration- labs for about 2.5 million dollars.
“Drones are one of the technologies that will turn many things up-side down in the future and my wish is that we in Denmark create an environment of development which, through its modern facilities, not only benefits Danish research and science, but also attracts foreign businesses to the country. For that purpose, the new international drone center is a key contributor”, Søren Pind, Minister of Higher Education and Science, says.
From strategy to joint-venture
Last year, the Danish government initiated the first national strategy for drones. In that strategy, the Hans Christian Andersen Airport (HCA Airport) was identified as a key player for developing the UAS industry. The aim is to organize a sustainable and flexible solution for testing drones while still being able to conduct conventional air traffic at the airport.
The result of the task force’s work is a joint-venture between University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Hans Christian Andersen Airport.
“The new BVLOS drone center will be a strong international asset to support drone development for national and foreign organizations. The fully functional airport is the perfect environment to develop drones and to explore future integration into the national airspace” says Brad Beach, SDU UAS Center Leader. Furthermore, he points out that the test center, new drone labs, and a 3D radar system at the same location and in partnership with Danish industry cluster create the right conditions to support the industry.
Industry ready for take-off
The uniqueness and flexibility of the center were also some of the points highlighted by Sky-Watch CEO Henrik Bendixen during the event: “This is an important day for us as a company and for the entire industry. This is a center of international excellence and a really good place for drone solutions and the industry”.
Head of UAS Denmark
Lars Michael Larsen
+45 4046 9102