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Malaysia’s “Area 57” Driving the Nation’s Drone Innovation
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September 20, 2021 News

 

Written by: Nur Atikah Yusri, Journalist at AOPG.

Exciting news all around for the future of Malaysia’s drone industry as the 16th of September marked the launch of ‘Area 57’, the nation’s one-stop centre for drone innovation. The launch was commenced by Dato’ Sri Dr Adham Baba, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister at the Technology Park in Kuala Lumpur.

Area 57 will provide all parties within the drone ecosystem, from operators to regulators, a space to expand the drone industry in Malaysia. The centre offers infrastructure and services to facilitate R&D, community engagement, maintenance, testing, certification, manufacturing, and other drone technology development needs.

The drone development area is equipped with excellent infrastructure offerings, such as a drone hangar, drone runaway, netted flying area, testing mock-up sites, design and simulation labs, prototype development manufacturing equipment, workshop, services and maintenance workshop, training classroom and practical lab, cloud house and offices.

In hopes of generating enough momentum for the country’s economic recovery, Area 57 hopes to be the government’s attempt to fast track its end goal of becoming a leader in the global drone industry.

Developments within the drone industry will significantly impact the country’s technological development and can hopefully improve sectors such as agriculture and infrastructure planning, among others. The Technology Minister also voiced his views of Area 57, stating, “The impacts of Area 57 include enhancing the quality of drones in the country, reducing the service and maintenance cost of drones and creating more licensed pilot, drone operators and technicians. We would also like to cultivate and create a society that is drone-savvy through the use of the amenities provided at the Drone ONE-STOP-Centre and create new job opportunities in the drone industry.”

The creation of Area 57 proves to be an added effort under the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS). Dr Adham notes, “Using high-tech, low-touch technology developed by local drone companies will increase the number of skilled workers to help various industries continue operating and generate the nation’s economy.”

Efforts for the development of the drone industry will not be singular as Technology Park Malaysia will be working with other government agencies, including the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), Survey and Mapping Department (JUPEM), Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), SIRIM, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Department of Environment (JAS) and the Malaysia Chief Security Officer’s Office. Further efforts will include establishing relationships with tertiary education institutions and drone companies in Malaysia.

“With the spirit of teamwork, both “inter-agency” and “inter-ministry”, I am confident that we can launch our drone industry to achieve high levels of success,” added the Science Minister.

To ensure the success of Area 57 and drone development in the nation, TPM has gained the cooperation of Aerodyne Group as an advisor for the centre. Aerodyne Group represents a successful Malaysian drone business that has garnered international attention. The group provides drone solutions utilising Artificial Intelligence for data analysis and process optimisation.

In closing, Area 57 looks to be a proactive step into the development of the drone industry with many opportunities for people in the ecosystem. To learn more or get in touch with the centre, click here.

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