Michigan and Ontario investigate creation of ‘drone skyways’
The US state of Michigan and Canadian province of Ontario have announced a new collaboration to study commercial beyond-line-of-sight drone skyways in three proposed areas, including an international cross-border connection.
The project will investigate using unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, in operations like just-in-time delivery, medical transport, and other small-scale deployments. The information gathered from this feasibility study will be used to further decision-making in preparing for the future of advanced air mobility in North America.
Announcing the project yesterday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said, “Cross-border partnership is critical across all dimensions of mobility, including aerial systems. Michigan and Ontario have a rich history of partnering on groundbreaking innovations and this project by Air Space Link continues that tradition.
“Considering the density of auto suppliers, logistic companies, technology startups, and consumers in the region, it is a natural fit to test this cutting-edge aerial technology here. The vital research could lead to faster product deliveries and reduced supply chain disruptions in the future, helping us grow Michigan’s economy and put Michiganders first.”
The project will be carried out by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Aeronautics Commission (MAC) and the State of Michigan, with support from the Michigan Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME), the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and the Government of Ontario, through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN),
“Ontario has a strong and strategically important economic connection with the State of Michigan,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “We welcome this opportunity to further deepen that relationship and foster new jobs and economic opportunities in developing industries now and well into the future.”