Detroit Region Aerotropolis is actively building highways in the sky for advanced air mobility

Rendering provided by Detroit Region Aerotropolis
Rendering provided by Detroit Region Aerotropolis (Provided to ClickOnDetroit)

Did you realize this? The Detroit Region Aerotropolis is a four-community, two-county, public-private economic development partnership driving corporate expansion and new investment around Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports.

And the Aerotropolis is the shovel-ready location for greenfield expansion in Southeast Michigan, offering 6,000 acres of development-ready land centered in a world-class network of transportation infrastructure, the group said.

With two world-class airports, access to three major interstates and five Class-A rail lines, the Detroit Region Aerotropolis is a prime location for global companies to build, expand, or develop, according to the partnership.

To stay competitive, the Aerotropolis region recently deployed the Airspace Link low-altitude drone infrastructure to its local communities and airports to support the safe use of recreational and commercial drone use. These capabilities provide a new type of Smart City mobility infrastructure supporting the growth of drone operations, drone service providers, drone manufacturing, package delivery and air taxi in the future.

Detroit Aerotropolis licensed the Airspace Link AirHub platform in partnership with Michigan Office of Mobility and Electrification and Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium (MUASC) to establish and test a new low-altitude drone infrastructure in the region.

The complete AirHub platform, including AirHub for Pilots and AirHub for Government, was developed and implemented for all four Aerotropolis communities.

Data from the communities, county, state, local and commercial sources were collected, processed and analyzed to identify relevant hazards and risks associated with UAS operations occurring within Aerotropolis used for building safe “Highways in the Sky” that are in harmony with Aerotropolis community interests.

Building on this effort, Detroit Aerotropolis joined those in Michigan’s mobility ecosystem who are advancing aerial mobility locally or globally, including investors, federal agencies, startups, corporates, municipalities, and manufacturers for a virtual event: Strengthening Michigan’s Aerial Mobility Ecosystem Series.

This event was focused on reimagining the automotive supply chain to drive the future of aerial mobility. Michigan remains a global leader in mobility because of the powerful presence of the automotive industry, the concentration of advanced mobility talent and the extensive research and development investments made here.

Economic development leaders have identified advanced air mobility as a tangential, high value, growth industry that will create jobs and drive capital investment in the 21st century.

This first virtual networking event featured James McClearen (FLUGAUTO), Greg Fraker (Roush), Parimal Kopardekar, Ph.D (NASA) and Jim Makowske (Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium), and was moderated by Lisa Peterson (Airspace Link). Sign up for the Detroit Aerotropolis Newsletter if you’re interested in attending future events.

The Detroit Region Aerotropolis was the first-ever local government that has gone live with AirHub for Government system providing communication tools from its communities to the drone industry.

Drone pilots get free access to this data and FAA (ATC) flight authorization through AirHub for Pilots app.

Detroit Region Aerotropolis has enhanced its ability of the communities to compete in an international economy, to serve as a catalyst for economic growth of the state and to improve the quality of life in the region. They are taking steps to ensure their part in facilitating smart cities and technology supporting how and where drones can and will operate in their community.

“Our partnership with Airspace Link sent a strong message to inventors, investors and innovators to come to Aerotropolis to fly these new highways in the sky,” said Christopher Girdwood, Detroit Aerotropolis executive director. “Many stakeholders are benefiting in many ways, from AirHub for Government, to pilots and business.”