First ‘light UAS operator certificate’ to Manna Aero

By Maurice Garvey

THE Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has issued its first ‘light UAS operator certificate’ (LUC) to Manna Aero, the Irish drone delivery operator, set up by Rathfarnham Resident Bobby Healy.

 Manna Aero was the first company to apply for a LUC, following their recent trials of drone delivery services in rural Ireland.

Manna drone operating in Oranmore Galway 1

Manna drone operating in Oranmore Galway Photo Manna Aero

Mr Healy, CEO of Manna Drone Delivery reacted to the news saying: “This achievement marks the culmination of our two year engagement with the IAA and is a strong endorsement for Manna, the nascent European Drone Delivery Industry, and Ireland as a tech-epicentre for drone technology.

“We thank EASA, and IAA for their vision and leadership, our delivery partners, and of course our wonderful trial customers in Oranmore and Moneygall for helping us to get this far.”

Their successful application follows a rigorous assessment of their operational capabilities in line with the new EU drone regulations, which came into force at the start of the year. 

The LUC is recognised in all EU Member States and provides drone operators with significant business opportunities across the single market.

Speaking at the handover of the certificate by video conference call, the Aviation Regulator, Diarmuid Ó Conghaile, congratulated Manna CEO, Bobby Healy on their success to date and reaffirmed the importance of a pro-business regulatory environment for Ireland’s drone industry.

“The light UAS operator certificate is a very exciting development in EU regulatory terms and provides Irish companies like Manna Aero with access to a potential European market of over half a billion customers,” Ó Conghaile said.

“Drone services are an important part of the green technology mix in Europe and provide a competitive alternative to traditional service delivery.”

Commercial semi-state body the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is currently undergoing a structural change, whereby the Air Navigation Service Provider will be separated into a new corporate entity and the Commission for Aviation Regulation will be dissolved and its functions merged with the IAA.

Mr Healy continued: “Our ambition for the new IAA is to facilitate UAS innovation and competitiveness with the highest safety and security standards, ultimately providing benefits to consumers at the end of the supply chain.”

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