Airspace Link Inc. in Detroit, a provider of data, software, and managed services to enable the safe and scalable use of drones, announced it has been granted a contract by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to develop a feasibility analysis as a first step to establish the infrastructure required to support commercial and public advanced air mobility systems.
Alongside economic and community impact, Airspace will analyze existing airspace, air traffic infrastructure, and ground infrastructure required to ensure operational safety. The AirHub Insights software, data, and services will perform risk analysis to support advanced operational approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The initiative was created by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and multiple economic development partners in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.
“Cross-border partnership is critical across all dimensions of mobility, including aerial systems. Michigan and Ontario have a rich history of partnering on groundbreaking innovations and this project by Airspace Link continues that tradition,” says Whitmer.
“Considering the density of auto suppliers, logistic companies, technology start-ups, and consumers in the region, it is a natural fit to test this cutting-edge aerial technology here. The vital research could lead to faster product deliveries and reduced supply chain disruptions in the future, helping us grow Michigan’s economy and put Michiganders first.”
Airspace has assembled a team that includes Thales, a leading provider of airspace management and air traffic control system; CityFi, a consulting and advisory group with expertise in transportation planning; Northern Plains UAS Test Site, an FAA approved test range for advanced UAS operations; Grand Sky Development Co., an economic and real estate development organization specializing in aviation parks for UAS; and Aviation Innovations, a consulting company with expertise in international aviation.
This team will provide a comprehensive analysis leveraging Airspace Link’s data services, software and technology, and subject domain experts that will inform Michigan’s strategy and approach to establishing this Air Mobility corridor.
The study will consider potential economic impacts, applicable state and local zoning restrictions, environmental factors (like social equity and noise considerations), travel, and transportation network impacts.
“We knew Michigan would be a great place to start our business with its deep roots in mobility and have continued to see extraordinary growth for our business in this state,” says Michael Healander, CEO of Airspace Link.
“The willingness to embrace new technology and advancements from both the public and private sectors has been critical in fueling our success and placing Michigan as a top choice for these types of technology pilots and new infrastructure.”