Skyports Drone Services launches delivery project in Korea


Skyports Drone Services has launched a new drone delivery project in the coastal Korean city of Yeosu.

The project which will see the BVLOS delivery of pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs by drone is the first time Skyports will operate with new partner RigiTech. It will service inter-island drone deliveries within the coastal Yeosu region of Korea. The first phase of the project launched in June this year and will continue until November.

Phase one of the project is seeing regular flights operated between the mainland and three islands (Gaedo, Geumodo, Songdo). The five-month project aims to show the viability, safety and benefits of drone operations, as well as highlighting how regular services can improve welfare, access and connectivity for island residents.

The BVLOS service will fly distances of 20-60km. Using a mobile application which has been developed for the project, island residents will be able to request the delivery or collection of a range of cargo, including pharmaceuticals, groceries and fresh seafood. 

Mitchell Williams, Korea country manager at Skyports Drone Services, said: “We are thrilled to get the Eiger in the air to begin deliveries across the Yeosu region. The Yeosu City project has the essential ingredients we look for when launching a new project: appetite for innovation, local and governmental support, and a strong and scalable use case. Skyports Drone Services and our Korea consortium partners look forward to showing why how drone deliveries can connect remote communities in a meaningful and sustainable way.”

As noted by Williams, the project will operate RigiTech’s Eiger electric VTOL drone. The Yeosu City project is the first commercial outing for the RigiTech Eiger since Skyports Drone Services and RigiTech began their partnership. The third aircraft in Skyports’ fleet, Eiger has been selected due to its large volume 3kg payload and long distance BVLOS capability.

Adam Klaptocz, co-founder and CEO of RigiTech, added: “This project is a remarkable endeavour that aligns perfectly with our vision – Creating drone delivery networks that connect remote areas and improve quality of life, anywhere in the world. Our technology has been proven and recognised for its reliability, and now it’s time for it to shine in the dynamic and forward-thinking landscape of the Yeosu region. We’re excited to join the Skyports Drone Services’ project and fleet, to work together to push the boundaries of BVLOS flights in new continents as our own team keeps growing.”

Phase two of the project will review the benefits and use cases of the project and look at how to make it available in more locations and on a permanent basis. The project will also receive continued support from the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, Korea Institute of Aviation Safety Technology and Yeosu City government.

A Yeosu City official said: “Yeosu City is set to lead the drone industry by expanding infrastructure to foster drone mobility, a new growth driver for the future, and conducting a drone logistics delivery demonstration project aimed to provide convenience for island residents, who live in a logistically vulnerable area. The project reflects the characteristics of the Yeosu region, which has 45 inhabited islands.”