International Drone Show focussed on the future of drone flight

More than 500 visitors from around the world gathered yesterday at the International Drone Show in Denmark to showcase technologies, meet new partners and follow the latest drone developments. The largest event of its kind in Northern Europe, the event sparked important conversations about the challenges and opportunities for drone utilisation. 

With more than 60 influential speakers across five panel discussions and conference tracks, including big names in drone delivery and high-profile speakers from the Danish defence, the conference addressed highly topical issues such as How are drones used in today's modern conflict situations? And how can drones be used to protect critical infrastructure? 

"The International Drone Show 2024 has kick-started conversations about how we can use drone technologies in many more contexts than we do today," says Søren Elmer Kristensen, CEO of Odense Robotics, which organises the annual event at HCA Airport together with UAS Denmark Test Center. 

"Many different stakeholders need to work together to enable unmanned aircraft to share airspace in a safe and sustainable way. This conference is about showcasing the powerful potential of drones - and building partnerships across the ecosystem. We are privileged to have such a strong drone community in Denmark and leading drone testing facilities, so we are delighted to have brought so many drone stakeholders together once again." 

Conference highlights 

The opening speech from Drone Industry Insights identified trends in the drone market and highlighted new figures showing that drone companies in the Nordic countries are more optimistic than the global average with a score of 7.1 compared to 6.6.  

Defence was a key topic, with high-profile speakers from the Danish defence and academia exploring the role of unmanned vehicles on the battlefield, the use of commercial drones in a military context, compliance with NATO standards and the future of armed conflict. Danish drone companies showed great interest in workshops on drone procurement with the Danish Ministry of Defence's Materiel and Procurement Agency.  

"Best-practice use cases from the US, Europe and the Arctic highlighted how drones can be used as a resource-efficient tool for infrastructure inspection, drone delivery, disaster management, environmental monitoring and healthcare logistics. An important point was the indispensable role of public-private partnerships in driving the sUAS/AAM industry forward," says Søren Elmer Kristensen. 

Drone legislation and operational safety was also a key theme. Danish drone companies showed great interest in updates from the Danish Transport Authority on Denmark's upcoming drone strategy, while several other talks highlighted ways to overcome challenges in airspace integration and flight testing. 

See drones before you invest 

Live demo flights and an exhibition provided valuable insights. Nordic Wing showcased their latest Astero ISR 2.5 and their Raptor system; UMS Skeldar showcased their V-200 platform supporting tactical operations for surveillance, contingency, security and defence; and Drone Volt also conducted a demo flight of their LineDrone.  

"Seeing drones and software in action before investing provides valuable insight into the system's capabilities. That's why the International Drone Show gives visitors the opportunity to see and compare solutions in live outdoor demo flights. Leading suppliers demonstrated a wide range of drone applications and drone experts were on hand to answer questions from the audience," says Michael Larsen, Head of UAS Denmark Test Centre at HCA Airport. 

The centre offers BVLOS flights, a C-UAS centre, research and development facilities, a business park and 1,900 square kilometres of airspace over land and sea. 

Enthusiastic participants 

"The International Drone Show is a unique opportunity to meet people from the drone industry, meet researchers and other stakeholders, such as end users, and discuss how we can achieve the optimal utilisation of drone technology for the benefit of society," says Michael Linden-Vørnle, Chief Advisor at DTU Space, one of the conference's many panelists. 

The international guests were also enthusiastic about the show. Peter McCurry, Managing Director of Flowcopter from Scotland said: 

"The International Drone Show is great for raising our profile in the drone world. It's incredible that there are so many people here with advanced developed systems that you can interact directly with and talk to potential customers and experts in the field." 

This year's media partners were Unmanned Systems Technology and eVTOL Insights. 

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