Funen drone test centre boosts ambitions

The Funen drones must be on the world map. That's why the Danish drone test centre at HCA Airport, UAS Denmark Testcenter, is now recruiting strong skills to further boost its ambitions.

To lead the strengthened effort, Michael Larsen joins as Head of UAS Denmark Testcenter, while Christian Klit Johansen is hired as DroneOps.

"Our drone test centre is quite unique, so now we must become even better at strengthening the profile of UAS Denmark Testcenter as one of the world's leading drone test centres and cluster for the Danish drone industry. At the same time, we must focus on the test centre's activities nationally and internationally, and to lead this we have hired two strong profiles, both of whom have extensive experience in the field," says Kim Kenlev, member of the steering committee of UAS Denmark Testcenter and chairman of the board of HCA Airport.

HCA Airport is both an international airport with manned air traffic in the charter and business segments, as well as a base for UAS Denmark. HCA Airport has its own fire brigade, tower and paved runway, which are also necessary facilities for large drones.

As one of the only drone test centres in Europe, the test centre at HCA Airport combines a fast test approval process with unique test facilities that include easy access to 867 square kilometres of airspace spanning land, city and the North Funen Sea, an approved BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) and the ability to test for the interactions of manned and unmanned air traffic in the same airspace.

Flying from day one

The new Head of UAS Denmark Testcenter will lead the work to strengthen and further develop the strong drone industry hub at HCA Airport. Michael Larsen has, among other things, a past as commercial manager of UAS Denmark and will market the test center's activities and services nationally and internationally, attract investments to the test center and increase the use of the test center and airspace.

"It's a really exciting task that I'm looking forward to getting started with, and fortunately I have a past in UAS, which means I know the industry extremely well," says Michael Larsen, who will solve the tasks in close cooperation with the other partners, part-time resources from the University of Southern Denmark, Odense Municipality and Odense Robotics.

"With the many unique facilities and possibilities at HCA Airport, the drone test centre has great potential to become Funen's next big technology centre. I look forward to UAS helping to unfold the potential that will put Funen drones not just on the map of Denmark, but the entire world map, and help create both Funen and Danish jobs."

Better support for businesses

The drone test centre at Odense airport aims to be a hub for research, education, development, testing and application of drone technology for the benefit of business and society. And with the mix of researchers, operators, manufacturers, public authorities, private companies and end users that HCA Airport has, an ecosystem in drone technology already exists.

To ensure that drone operators and companies at the airport are met in an even more professional manner, a DroneOps is hired. Christian Klit Johansen will be in charge of this function, where his tasks will include sparring on risk assessments and SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment) applications, offering SORA courses, planning drone operations and providing assistance to drone operators and companies during the start-up period at the airport.

"I'm very much looking forward to bringing my skills in risk assessments and regulatory approvals into play, as companies and operators in the drone industry will hopefully benefit greatly from this in their daily contacts," says Christian Klit Johansen, who holds a degree in civil engineering and comes from the University of Southern Denmark, where he has recently worked with drone projects, risk assessments and regulatory approvals.

As part of the sharpened focus on achieving the great ambitions, the steering committee for UAS Denmark will in future consist of the Dean of the Faculty of Technology at the University of Southern Denmark, Henrik Bindslev, the Director of the City of Odense, Stefan Birkebjerg Andersen, and the Chairman of the Board of HCA Airport, Kim Kenlev.

Share this news

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter here and receive the latest news, travel inspiration, travel tips and more from HCA Airport.