SkyDrive Announces U.S. Market Entrance, Plans for AAM Ecosystem in South Carolina
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by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Today at the 2023 annual VFS eVTOL Symposium in Mesa, Arizona, leading Japanese eVTOL manufacturer SkyDrive announced its plans to enter the U.S. market and establish a base of operations in South Carolina, where it plans to develop an advanced air mobility ecosystem and implement practical uses for eVTOLs in the region.
The company was first invited to South Carolina last July by the Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC). SkyDrive has been focused on assessing practical use cases originating from several of South Carolina’s major airports utilizing its SD-05 eVTOL aircraft. The company has decided to form a business infrastructure within the state, where it will work towards realizing an advanced air mobility ecosystem which will bring South Carolina to the forefront in its ability to support the commercial operations of eVTOL aircraft.
“The decision to make South Carolina our home base and our window into the U.S. market was an easy one considering that it is a significant player in both the commercial and military aviation industries, and it is home to more than 400 aerospace and aviation companies including Boeing and Lockheed Martin,” said SkyDrive Founder and CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa. “I sincerely believe that the vast number of resources available in South Carolina will provide SkyDrive with a substantial platform that enables us to achieve our goals.”
South Carolina’s mild climate, abundant tourism, and airports close to city centers all make it the ideal fit for the use of SkyDrive’s SD-05 eVTOL aircraft. The state is also home to some of the most dynamic aerospace companies in the country, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. With a demonstrated ability to excel in advanced aerospace manufacturing, the state’s robust supply chain features companies such as SkyDrive supplier Toray Carbon Magic Co., Ltd.
“The future of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and vehicle industries is here, and South Carolina is proud to welcome SkyDrive, an industry innovator, to our rapidly growing aerospace cluster,” said Harry M. Lightsey III, Secretary of Commerce at the State of South Carolina Department of Commerce. “SkyDrive’s advanced electric propulsion technology and sustainable transportation implications are the perfect fit for South Carolina’s business roster and the state’s growing business development goals. South Carolina extends a warm welcome to SkyDrive and we look forward to supporting the company on its journey to continued growth and success.”
“CAE is very excited about the new possibilities being created in the environmentally friendly advanced air mobility industry and its potential to make a positive impact on our local community and beyond,” said Frank Murray, Director of Planning & Facilities at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE). “CAE is making a concerted effort to contribute to this development by teaming with SkyDrive to model an FAA compliant advanced air mobility ecosystem with infrastructure requirements based on use cases for flights originating from our airport. CAE is really looking forward to working with SkyDrive and pioneering new possibilities together as we share a common vision of taking the lead in this once in a century mobility revolution.”
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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