With a strong aeronautical engineering tradition, it’s not surprising that Belfast is also emerging as an ideal test-bed for urban drone technologies.

We believe the drone sector has an important contribution to make to our Smart Belfast ambition. The drone market is the fastest growing in the aeronautical industry, the sector has the potential to bring significant economic benefits whilst supporting the city in designing and deploying more effective and efficient services.

The city already has an informal drone technology cluster with a range of engaged commercial and university research partners.

Already, local SME Flyte’s deploy drones in construction sites or for utility maintenance; and HeartSine’s are planning the delivery of defibrillators or other urgent medical equipment.

However, in order to grow, the sector needs a much more supportive environment – in terms of access to funding; use-case opportunities; technical knowledge sharing; and, more importantly, a more coherent and supportive policy environment.

The latter is particularly important as Belfast is home to major transport hubs, including the George Best airport which is only two miles from the city centre.

Our vision for the use of drones is one of which is the technology can be seamlessly and safely deployed as part of wide range of public and private services contributing to the city’s social and economic outcomes.

We’re working with a number of exciting local SMEs to develop our ideas.

If your company is interested in finding out more about our plans please contact us.