Singapore-based Heron AirBridge is the latest company to join Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network, following a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two companies.

The Velaris Partner Network is an ecosystem of companies that use British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat’s Velaris global connectivity solution and are dedicated to pioneering innovations that facilitate safe and secure Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations.

Working alongside regional regulators, the two companies will work towards the safe integration of uncrewed aircraft into Singapore’s commercial airspace by integrating Inmarsat Velaris, a command and control datalink built for UAVs, with Heron AirBridge, a complete and flexible unmanned aircraft systems traffic management system.

“Uncrewed aviation is a sector poised for growth. The air vehicles and communications technology are ready, but unlocking their full potential hinges on consistent, global regulatory progress,” said Joel Klooster, Inmarsat VP of aircraft operations and safety.

“Together with Heron, we are creating a blueprint for the integrated airspace of the future. Inmarsat’s Velaris technology, coupled with Heron’s regional domain expertise, will ensure operators of airspace and UAVs have the tools they need to drive regulatory acceptance in the region and beyond.”

Inmarsat will also supply Heron AirBridge, a subsidiary of the Heron Technology group, with its Velaris satellite terminals for UAVs, delivering the secure datalink needed for Beyond Visible Line of Sight operations. The collaboration will mark the first deployment of Velaris technology in APAC, with trials commencing later this year.

“Our partnership with Inmarsat is a major step towards increasing UAV integration into Singapore’s crowded airspace and updating regulations so that our efforts can be replicated worldwide,” said Heron CEO Ryan Lee.

“Working together, we look to establish Singapore as a world leader in this burgeoning sector, sharing our vision of creating value through the utilisation of low-level airspace globally.”

Inmarsat and Heron say they plan to leverage the Velaris Partner Network to develop regulatory frameworks and technologies that will boost UAV numbers in Singapore’s airspace and provide a blueprint for successful integration that can be rolled out worldwide.