Skyports expands to South Korea via drone delivery joint venture

Skyports Korea drone delivery

UK-based Skyports Drone Services is expanding its international operations in South Korea through a joint venture with local company Marine Drone Tech (MDT) and will initially work to launch specialized ship-to-shore UAV deliveries.

The South Korea joint venture will be known as Skyports Drone Services Korea and will act as a local delivery unit of the wider group, which also includes vertiport specialist Skyports Infrastructure. The company is already setting up operations in Busan and Yeosu, both of which are port cities toward the southern end of the Korean peninsula. Those locations reflect the early focus of Skyports Drone Services Korea on maritime deliveries to offshore ships.

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Skyports Drone Services made its first foray into that specialized shore-to-ship delivery market in 2021, when it successfully conducted trials in Singapore, expanding those with commercial testing the following year. It has also operated proof of concept flights for cross-island beyond visual line of sight flights on supply missions.

In addition to its involvement in long-distance UAV transport trials to offshore UK destinations, Skyports has also been involved in planning and building infrastructure for regular delivery services from Singapore’s Jurong Port to maritime vessels. It initially entered South Korea last year.

As it builds that specialized operation in South Korea, Skyports Drone Services Korea will also provide customers with a variety of enterprise UAV operations, including operating aerial delivery networks.

The new unit will also act as an antenna for the UK group’s wider activities in advanced air mobility transportation. Its launch comes only months after Skyports Drone Services established offices in Japan last October, marking its intention to continue expanding across the Asia-Pacific region using the strength of its business foundation in the UK and European Union.

“Korea is a market that is well-known for its forward-thinking and innovative technology ecosystem,” said Skyports Drone Services Director Alex Brown. “Our partnership with MDT brings together two market leaders and will see us rapidly scale up drone operations across Korea. Expanding on our work in Singapore, our focus will be ship-to-shore operations in the maritime sector. We will be bringing the best of our global offering across delivery and monitoring drone services to Korea, improving transport service levels, reducing costs, and ultimately improving lives for communities all around Korea.”

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In bringing its local drone service experience and intimate knowledge of the South Korean market to the partnership, MDT will also benefit from Skyport Drone Service’s international insights and expansion plans in scaling their joint operations.

“Together, we will be able to offer customers a complete solution that will address a broad range of challenges in multiple industries,” said MDT CEO Hwang Eui-Cheol. Our complementary expertise makes Skyports Drone Services Korea a formidable force, and we are excited to work together to bring cutting-edge drone solutions to our home market.”

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