Finland has responded to growing demand across Europe by opening a new research centre for drone and UAM operations. Named ‘The LIFT Future Aerospace Centre’, built by Redstone AERO and located at the Helsinki East Aerodrome, it aims to attract private, public and R&D sectors to create aviation innovations for the industry.

A statement from the VTT research agency website, an organisation with over 80 years experience “in ground-breaking research and science-based results”, said, “The cooperation is aimed at strengthening research, development and innovation in future aviation, while supporting the emergence of new business within this field in Finland.”

Tomi Oravasaari, Director of the RDI unit of NELI (North European Logistics Institute) at Xamk, is quoted: “The use of UAS in civil solutions and applications for authorities has grown rapidly. However, increasing this usage on a large scale will not be possible before the operations of unmanned aviation can be safely integrated with traditional manned aviation. Finland has excellent opportunities and competence to join the development of this future industry.”

He continued, “The LIFT network cooperation and the aerodrome environment provide excellent support for Xamk’s applied research and this paves the way for the emergence of commercial solutions for drone logistics, among other things”.

Esa Korjula (Credit: Redstone AERO)

The Helsinki-East Aerodrome area will act as a prototype for efficiently operating a new kind of aerodrome. Esa Korjula, Chairman of Redstone AERO, added, “At LIFT, we are developing a concept that allows airports to be planned, built, licensed and operated more efficiently than before. We call the new model by the name digital airport.”

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(Top pic: Helsinki East Aerodrome)