Member News: Swoop Aero aircraft will be flying after joining the MBIE Airspace Integration Trial
Hear from Swoop Aero's New Zealand General Manager, Richard Adams, in this exciting article about Aerospace Projects Lifting Off in Ōtautahi Christchurch— including how Swoop Aero is sustainably improving health supply chains in urban and rural communities by overcoming transport and infrastructure barriers that currently limit access to essential supplies.
Swoop Aero was founded to change how the world moves by making access to the skies seamless and provides the world’s leading integrated drone logistics platform for sustainable, reliable, and scalable air logistics.
Founded in 2017, Swoop Aero integrates bi-directional drone logistics to enhance the strength and resilience of supply chains. Swoop Aero’s aircraft bridge gaps in logistics by overcoming vast distances, traffic congestion, location accessibility, inhospitable terrain, and data shortages around the world. Offering services from medical transport, beyond line of sight imagery with real-time data, and contactless drone deliveries, to humanitarian aid and disaster relief, Swoop Aero partners works with organisations ready to operate drone logistics at scale.
Based in Australia, Swoop Aero joined the MBIE Airspace Integration Trial in June 2021, to sustainably improve health supply chains in urban and rural communities by overcoming transport and infrastructure barriers that currently limit access to essential supplies. As well as their current Kookaburra aircraft, Swoop Aero will also be operating Kite, their next generation aircraft, in New Zealand. With Kite, Swoop Aero will also assist in responses to natural disasters, severe weather events and epidemics across the country.
Swoop Aero’s vision is for a world where seamless supply chains bring emotional and economic prosperity to all they serve. Already creating a positive global impact through their operations in seven countries across three continents, Swoop Aero looks forward to bringing the world’s leading integrated drone logistics platform for sustainable, reliable, and scalable air logistics to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Operating in 5 countries, Swoop provides the world’s most trusted, integrated technology platform for sustainable, reliable, and scalable air logistics.
Swoop General Manager Richard Adams was interviewed and said the following:
Where do you see Swoop in the future?
Within New Zealand, we’re aiming to provide seamless access to the air for 5 million Kiwi’s, strengthening the healthcare supply chain while providing training and employment opportunities. Globally, our mission is to provide the world’s leading technology platform for sustainable, reliable, and scalable drone logistics, and our goal is to reach 100 million people by 2025, and we’re on track to achieve that as our networks continue to expand globally. While the majority of our 10,000 flights to date have been in rural and regional locations, we’ve set our sights on large scale urban operations. Our next generation aircraft, Kite, which was launched in August and is currently undergoing FAA certification, is designed to unlock the skies above cities. We’re looking forward to furthering our impact as we exponentially increase the number of communities that we serve.
What do you see as big growth opportunities in Canterbury in the aerospace sector? How do you see Swoop to fit into this picture?
The aviation ecosystem here has already made Canterbury the leading location for aerospace development in New Zealand, setting the foundations for future growth with both home-grown and international companies attracted by all that Canterbury has to offer. Having innovative and future-focused programs such as Project Tāwhaki on our doorstep demonstrates a clear intent to develop the sector in Canterbury and will only lead to further growth.
For Swoop Aero, we’re looking forward to increasing airspace integration for autonomous systems through MBIE’s Airspace Integration Trial Program, creating the foundations for future growth in the sector. At the same time, we’re excited about providing local training, experience and employment, future-proofing the Kiwi workforce and ensuring that New Zealand is in the best possible position to embrace autonomous technology as new opportunities present themselves.
Why do you think Canterbury is an ideal location for an aerospace hub for New Zealand, and specifically for Swoop?
The innovation that’s taken place within Christchurch and Canterbury since the earthquakes, making the most of a terrible series of events to establish the area as a market leader across various sectors, and in particular the aerospace sector, has been fantastic to see. With the work that’s already been done in aviation, space flight, manufacturing, engineering, geospatial mapping, data analytics, and education, there is a wealth of skills and knowledge in the region, making it the perfect place for Canterbury’s continued growth as an aerospace hub.
I’ve also been really impressed with the level of collaboration across various companies and organisations across Canterbury, as opposed to competition, which can only mean good things as we grow as a unified sector over the coming months and years. Having access to Kaitōrete Spit as part of Project Tāwhaki will prove invaluable as a flight test and R&D site. The varied geography of the region will provide the challenge we’re looking for as we establish networks across the country and progress through MBIE’s Airspace Integration Trial Program.