Inmarsat and Heron to enable uncrewed aircraft in Singaporean airspace


Inmarsat has welcomed Singapore-based Heron AirBridge, a specialist in Uncrewed Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) in the Asia Pacific region, as the latest company to join its Velaris Partner Network, following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today at Drones Asia.

Working alongside regional regulators, the two companies will enable the safe integration of uncrewed aircraft into Singapore’s commercial airspace by integrating Inmarsat Velaris, a highly reliable command and control (C2) datalink built for UAVs, with Heron’s AirBridge, a complete and flexible UTM system.

Inmarsat will also supply Heron with its low size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) Velaris satellite terminals for UAVs, delivering the secure datalink needed for Beyond Visible Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. The collaboration will mark the first deployment of Velaris technology in Asia Pacific and trials will commence later this year.

In tandem, Inmarsat and Heron will leverage the Velaris Partner Network, working with stakeholders across the aviation community to develop regulatory frameworks and technologies that will boost Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) numbers in Singapore’s airspace and provide a blueprint for successful integration that can be rolled out worldwide.

Joel Klooster, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Operations & Safety, Inmarsat Aviation, said “Uncrewed aviation is a sector poised for growth. The air vehicles and communications technology are ready, but  unlocking their full potential hinges on consistent, global regulatory progress.

“Together with Heron, we are creating a blueprint for the integrated airspace of the future. Inmarsat’s Velaris technology, coupled with Heron’s regional domain expertise, will ensure operators of airspace and UAVs have the tools they need to drive regulatory acceptance in the region and beyond.”

Ryan Lee, CEO and Co-Founder, Heron AirBridge, added “Our partnership with Inmarsat is a major step towards increasing UAV integration into Singapore’s crowded airspace and updating regulation so that our efforts can be replicated worldwide. Working together, we look to establish Singapore as a world leader in this burgeoning sector, sharing our vision of creating value through the utilisation of low-level airspace globally. Inmarsat was the sure partner in powering the movement, with Velaris ensuring that we’re equipped with the core network and datalink capabilities we need to drive UAV integration.”

drones Asia-Pacific