Low altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and related technologies provider Drone USA has signed an agreement with the Portuguese government to fly and test its UAVs at Santa Maria airport, located in Azores Arquipelago, Portugal.

Secretaria do Mar, Ciência e Tecnologia (SMCT), Navegação Aérea de Portugal – NAV and Santa Maria airport’s management authority, Aeroportos de Portugal (ANA), were signatories of the agreement.

With the agreement, Drone USA aims to realise its goal of building a UAV platform based on medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) systems.

"In 2017 we expect the Azores International Research Centre (AIR Centre) to be created and start its operations in oceans and climate science."

Once completed, the UAV programme will serve the specific requirements of the nine-island archipelago of Azores Arquipelago as well as help create high-tech jobs in the region.

Drone USA is planning to discuss its proposal to build the UAVs with the regional government, as well as with governmental and military entities in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Azores regional government sea, science, and technology regional secretary Fausto Brito e Abreu said: “We are very excited with this agreement we signed with Drone USA, and I believe that the Azores offer a unique setting to test and develop UAVs, for operations over land and sea.

 The Azores regional government is expected to have a growing demand for these technologies, in order to perform environmental monitoring at sea, fisheries control and scientific research.

“Also, in 2017 we expect the Azores International Research Centre (AIR Centre) to be created and start its operations in oceans and climate science,” e Abreu added.