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LMT and airBaltic partner to develop BVLOS drone flights

Latvian mobile network LMT has partnered with airBaltic to further develop BVLOS drone operations in Latvia and test its network to make sure it’s suitable for long-distance BVLOS drone flights. The announcement comes a few months after drones began deliveries in the country.

The new partnership will foresee a joined development of various drone solutions overseen by general aviation and LMT’s learning program for drone pilots. Both companies will also collaborate on testing the mobile network coverage in the air space.

An estimated 70% of all commercial drone operations will be beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight (BVLOS). They can get goods to locations much farther away and with complex flight routes, making the two companies’ work even more important.

Ingmārs Pūķis, vice president of LMT, said:

We’re eagerly working to turn drone flights BVLOS and autonomous drone operations into a common reality. An uninterrupted connection with the drone throughout its flight is crucial for conducting a safe uncrewed flight BVLOS. Such connectivity can be provided by a reliable mobile network combined with a drone management program and a control center solution that enables drone pilot operations during the flight BVLOS.

To ensure the future of BVLOS flights is done safely, airBoltic will also call on external experts to ensure the company can provide the flights and allow pilots the opportunity to take on a new role as crewed flights continue to decline with the pandemic.

Talis Linkaits, Minister for Transport of the Republic of Latvia, added:

It’s remarkable how the leading Latvian aviation and telecommunication industries manage to keep such a strategic vision and innovative outlook amid the global pandemic. It is important that, as the economy recovers, companies are prepared to move forward with innovative solutions and further development.

Check out the rest of our coverage on LMT and the work it is doing to get drones into the air in Latvia.

Photo: LMT

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Avatar for Josh Spires Josh Spires

Josh started in the drone community in 2012 with a drone news Twitter account. Over the years Josh has gained mass exposure from his aerial photography work and spends his days writing drone content for DroneDJ as well as pursuing his business.