Another lucrative Chinese technology . . .
Indonesian airline PT Garuda Indonesia will purchase 100 unmanned drones from Chinese tech company Beihang UAS Technology. The drones are capable of hauling up to 2.2 tonnes of cargo. The investment will allow Indonesia to transform its freight business by enabling the state-run airline to deliver cargo from 30 logistics centres to many of the country’s 18,000 islands. While the new technology is expected to increase Garuda’s profitability – the drones cost 30 per cent less than traditional freighters and can help compensate for declining passenger demand – it will require Indonesia to make significant infrastructure investments.
Regulating airspace . . .
Indonesia is planning for 25 new airports by 2024 in order to improve the connectivity of the archipelago state. However, the government has said little about the parameters around drones using airspace. While policies for regulating conventional means of airspace travel (planes and helicopters) have been around for a long time, government bodies are still playing catch up with newer forms of technology. Several instances of significant flight delays have occurred at airports around the world due to unauthorized drone pilots that enter restricted airspace but are not picked up by radar.
Opportunity for Canada . . .
With a wingspan of 18 metres and the ability to fly distances of up to 1,200 kilometres, this type of drone could be lucrative for Canada in increasing its shipping distribution across the continent as well as potentially facilitating freight access to more remote areas.