UTM company, Altitude Angel, makes foray into South Africa

One of the world’s leading unmanned traffic management companies is coming to South Africa.

Altitude Angel, the company that is working hard towards the establishment of the first dedicated commercial drone corridor back in its homeland, UK, has joined hands with South African ICT company iOCO to start working towards the provision of building blocks on which the country’s urban air mobility (UAM) infrastructure can be built and supported.

A Johannesburg-based subsidiary of technology services giant, EOH, iOCO is an information and communication technology solutions providers, working in solutions that include software development, data and analytics, cloud computing, enterprise applications and software-as-a-service.

Altitude Angel, meanwhile is an aviation technology company that develops operating platforms for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into airspaces. The company is working with various consortiums in Europe to find ways in which drone technology can be safely integrated into the busy skies of European cities.

In South Africa, the two companies with use their respective core strengths to explore opportunities surrounding the integration of Altitude Angel’s UTM technology and iOCO’s significant national infrastructure and relationship network.

“Altitude Angel and iOCO are both committed to opening the skies above South Africa by providing regulators, government departments, airports, landowners, and local businesses with the digital infrastructure needed on which to build a strong and sustainable drone economy,” said Richard Ellis, Altitude Angel’s Chief Business Officer.

“Our collaboration with iOCO has great potential, not only for our businesses but also the wider UAM and UAV industries. The developments and deployments we’re able to showcase in South Africa will have real-world applications for business all over the globe which is very exciting.”

It might be just baby steps for now, but the establishment of a path towards unmanned aerial mobility in South Africa should be sweet music to the ears of organisations like the Johannesburg Forum of Integrated Risk Management (FIRM), which is working with security authorities to find the best ways to integrate technological solutions to the crime conundrum afflicting the city.

The FIRM revealed recently that it is working on a proof of concept with security authorities like the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), in which they would be using drone technology on a frequently regular basis to fight crime in the city.

The establishment of a UTM platform that has government blessing will be such a welcome development.

 “iOCO is thrilled to be working with Altitude Angel,” said iOCO Group Executive, Brian Harding. “Integrating our leading technology with Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM platform can make BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flights an everyday occurrence. iOCO and Altitude Angel have all the components needed to make this a very successful collaboration.”

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