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  • Writer's pictureSimon Golstein

High Lander’s biggest year yet: 2023 in review

As 2023 comes to a close, we look back at 2023 with pride at how far we’ve come. We’ve been so busy this year that a complete list of highlights might crash some international servers – so we decided to choose key events from every month of the year.


January


What better way to begin our yearly review than by extending our gratitude to EDGE Group. In January, we received a $14 million investment from this defense technology conglomerate, but more importantly, forged a bond of friendship that’s given us access to a wealth of connections and expertise that promises to bear fruit for many years to come.



We were also deeply honored to welcome Walid al Mesmari and Rodrigo Torres, EDGE Group’s Senior VP - Electronic Warfare & Cyber Technologies and President Group Finance & CFO respectively - to our advisory board.



February


We took center stage at the EDGE pavilion at the IDEX conference. It’s one of the biggest technology conferences in the world, and we enjoyed giving tens of attendees the chance to fly a drone in real time from thousands of miles away with our drone fleet management platform.



March


At the Israel National Drone Initiative, our UTM system broke a record: monitoring the longest ever (at the time) BVLOS flight in Israel. The flight flew from an international airport for more than 21 kilometers as part of a test route for air taxis in the future.



April


We signed an MOU with Speedbird Aero, Brazil’s leading drone delivery company. Executing more than 10,000 deliveries in its first two years of operation, Speedbird operates over a range of different industries and in cities all over the country – and now it flies under High Lander’s Vega UTM.



While in Brazil, we exhibited our solutions at LAAD 2023, Latin America’s biggest technology expo, as well as meeting representatives of Embraer and ANAC at their headquarters in São José and São Paulo respectively.



May


We travelled to Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, to help the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office integrate Orion DFM with its citywide gunshot detection system. Working with STC and the BIRD Foundation, the city is building an automated drone response service to aid in law enforcement and improve public safety.



High Lander became a card-carrying member of the Global UTM Association. This international organization has been leading the development of UTM technology since 2016 and its members include Boeing, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the US Federal Aviation Administration, Israel Aerospace Industries, Switzerland’s Federal Office for Civil Aviation, and many more.



June


The Tel Aviv Municipality drone team used our drone fleet management platform to manage two mass (actually, enormous) events: a Guns ‘n’ Rose concert in the Yarkon Park (with 60,000 attendees) and the Tel Aviv Pride Parade (with 200,000 attendees). We were proud to provide our support and happy to report that there were no security incidents – partly as a result of the efficient oversight provided by the municipality’s drones.



We also signed a partnership with AIR, the company behind the world’s first eVTOL designed for personal use. AIR ONE aircraft could one day replace cars – and they’ll be flying under High Lander’s UTM.




July


We began a groundbreaking environmental project in Bari, Italy: the municipality will be using Orion DFM to fly drones to combat the issue of illegal landfills. This autonomous system is already proving to be an effective solution.



We also announced a collaboration with Robotican, a producer of cutting-edge security drones. A modified version of the company’s Goshawk interceptor drone will be used as a first responder for emergency services nationwide – and they’ll be flying under High Lander’s Vega UTM system.



August


After months of waiting for the construction teams to finish, we finally relocated to our brand-new headquarters in the heart of Tel Aviv. The new office suite comes complete with our own purpose-built command center and ample space for our ever-growing team.




Also in August, we signed an exciting partnership with UAV Latam – one of the biggest drone delivery company in Latin America. UAV Latam operates in nine different Latin American countries, and it will be using Orion DFM to operate its drone across all of them.



September


The Civil Aviation Authority of Israel decided to take a bold new step and enable U-space creation across the country – and selected High Lander to be an official provider of UTM services. The eighteen-month initiative enable authorities to close airspaces for their drones when necessary, such as during mass events and in emergency situations.



September also saw us signing a partnership with Sentrycs, a provider of cutting-edge drone detection and threat mitigation technology. The combination of Vega UTM and Sentrycs’ soft-kill capabilities created, for the first time, a truly complete airspace management solution.



October


We were thrilled to open our first overseas department. Kevin Peer, our new UAE Country Manager, became our man on the ground in this dynamic and fast-growing market.



November


A sharp uptick in users of our Orion DFM platform for security purposes led to use expanding our team with a new group of command center controllers. They were trained to provide 24-support to drone pilots nationwide.


We also attended several internation conferences: CEATEC in Japan, Drones Beyond in Italy, and Milipol in Paris.


December


Just as 2023 began big, it ended big too. The Civil Aviation Authority if Israel ruled that drones above 200 grams cannot fly anywhere in Israel without an active connection to a UTM system – and High Lander was the first to receive an ‘air traffic management unit license’ allowing us to provide flight approval to drone pilots. This ruling, and the license, are the first of their kind in the world.



Conclusion


This was only a small selection of key events over the year, and 2024 is going to be even bigger. You're welcome to follow our LinkedIn page and sign up to our newsletter to receive a fuller picture of everything we’ve been up to.


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