Malta-based company plans long-range drone cargo flights

Dronamics is planning its first commerical flight with its Black Swan aircraft later this year after obtaining Malta licence to operate first-ever cargo drone for the European market

The Black Swan cargo drone operated by Dronamics can carry a payload of 350kg and has a range of up to 2,500km (Photo: Dronamics)
The Black Swan cargo drone operated by Dronamics can carry a payload of 350kg and has a range of up to 2,500km (Photo: Dronamics)

Malta will serve as a hub for cargo transport by drone after aviation authorities granted Dronamics an operational licence, the first of its kind in Europe.

The authorisation granted by Transport Malta’s Civil Aviation Directorate allows Dronamics to self-authorise flight operations across EU countries.

Using its flagship Black Swan aircraft that can carry 350kg at a distance of up to 2,500km, the company plans to run its first commercial flights out of Malta and Italy later this year.

The Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC) is the highest authorisation currently achievable under European drone operations and the first one issued in the EU for middle-mile cargo operations.

Dronamics says the Black Swan will transform supply chains by making transportation more efficient, leading to cost, time and carbon emission savings.

Dronamics is the first cargo drone company to secure the licence by the Maltese authorities and will be able to carry out Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations.

With Malta as its European operations base, Dronamics is well placed to operate its first routes over the Mediterranean, linking key hubs across the region.

The Black Swan requires a short 400m runway, travels at 200km/h and can reach an altitude of 22,000ft. The runway length required to fly the aircraft means that it can also use the planned Gozo airstrip if and when it materialises. 

The licencing of Dronamics falls within the scope of Transport Malta’s aim to harness aviation innovation by supporting unmanned aircraft systems.

“During the past several months, our dedicated CAD inspectors, who did the job diligently, validated our belief in new technologies and innovation within the aviation industry. Since the initial contact with Dronamics, the operational concept, the experienced and passionate team, and above all the company mission, made us believe that Dronamics will be the pioneer of a new, safe, and exciting era of the drone cargo long range operation,” Capt. Charles Pace, director of Malta’s civil aviation department, said.

Dronamics chief operating officer Sergio Oliveira e Silva said the company was impressed with Transport Malta’s professionalism, expertise and pro-innovation mindset.

“Becoming the first cargo drone company to obtain LUC certification is a huge milestone for us and validates years of hard work in developing our unique and market-leading solution,” he said.