SASS, Heron AirBridge and CWT Aerospace sign agreement on maritime drone deliveries


The Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers and Services (SASS), Heron AirBridge and CWT Aerospace have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to highlight the advantages of maritime drone operations.

The new partnership, inked on 22 February, seeks to highlight the vast benefits of maritime drone operations, such as shorter lead time, an alternative delivery method in case boats are not allowed in poor sea states, sustainability, and the increased technological profile of the marine sector.

Under the terms of the MoU, the companies will collaborate to:

  • Streamline workflows and processes that will facilitate drone deliveries between land, vessels, and offshore platforms
  • Improve the digital infrastructure for drone mission planning, vertiport and flight operations, authority oversight, and aviation/marine regulatory compliance
  • Enhance the vertiport infrastructure for logistics processing, customs clearance, aircraft maintenance, and storage dedicated to maritime drone supports

READ: Why are more ports using drones?

“Drone logistics delivery holds tremendous potential to transform how our members serve the shipping industry,” said Danny Lien, president of the SASS.

“This collaboration with Heron and CWT Aerospace, market leaders in the Singapore aviation and logistics industries, will enable us to develop system-wide end-to-end solutions to make efficient drone deliveries possible.”

READ: EMSA deploys drones for vessel emissions monitoring

The full potential of marine drone deliveries is yet to be realised due to regulatory restrictions and the lack of a dedicated operational framework across the logistics and cargo industry, reported Heron AirBridge.

“Drone operations in the maritime environment have unique complexities and challenges due to the unpredictability of weather, ships’ schedules and the need to consider other risks at sea,” Ryan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Heron AirBridge, added.

In May 2022, the Port of Jurong in Singapore announced it will investigate the feasibility of ship-to-shore cargo drone deliveries in cooperation with UK-based start-up, Skyports Ltd.

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