Airspace Link raises $10M to build a Waze for drone pilots

airspace link

Aviation solutions startup Airspace Link knows that drone operations can often be confusing for both pilots and the communities they fly in. This is why it has developed a GIS-based digital mapping tool that fuses the needs of both federal and local governments to help drone pilots make informed decisions. And now, the Detroit-based company has raised a cool $10 million in Series A funding to advance its mission.

Airspace Link has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) program – a collaboration between FAA and private companies that directly supports the safe integration of drones into the national airspace. Meanwhile, in North Dakota, the company is supporting the FAA’s BEYOND program to support safe and scalable BVLOS drone operations across the entire state.

Airspace Link has also developed an innovative cloud-based drone platform called AirHub to help operators determine the safest, most efficient route for a drone to take on the way to pick up and deliver items.

Take AirHub’s population trends and key indicators feature, for example. When pilots define a boundary, the platform generates an operational report focused on what’s happening below the drone, such as the number of households, population, and businesses the aircraft will be flying over. It’s great for understanding the impact the drone might have in the event of an unforeseen failure.

The company says it has forged alliances with more than 40 government agencies and municipalities in the US for the AirHub platform.

Airspace Link cofounder Ana Healander quips:

Our mission is to mitigate risk by working with communities to foster safer drone operations, and our solution is the first of its kind to manage policies and regulations at the federal, state and local level.

With the Series A capital raise, joining Airspace Link on this mission are Altos Ventures and Thales. Before this fundraising round, the startup had raised $4 million from Indicator Ventures, 2048 Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, Techstars, and Dan Gilbert’s Detroit Venture Partner.

Stressing that the core purpose of Airspace Link is to pave the way for the drone economy with shared, neutral, and affordable unmanned infrastructure, CEO Michael Healander says:

Airspace Link acts like Google Maps (Waze) for drones, but the roads, rules, and regulations are not in place yet.

And so with this fresh capital infusion, the company will strive to integrate with as many local government transportation groups as possible. Expansion of operations to Canada and Australia is also on the horizon.

Find out more about the company here.

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