BELFAST’S FIRST ADVANCED AIR MOBILITY SUMMIT: £2BN EXPORT POTENTIAL FOR NI ECONOMY

November 17, 2022

Delegates attending Belfast cyber security specialist ANGOKA’s first advanced air mobility (AAM)
summit (09 November 2022) have been told that the sector in Northern Ireland could be worth up to
£2bn in exports. Nearly one million UAVs or drones could be in daily commercial and service use
before 2030 across the UK, the conference learned. ANGOKA Chief Technology Officer Shadi Razak
told the international audience that UAVs including cargo and passenger carrying devices were no
longer a futuristic proposition.
“The future of AAM for commercial, defence and blue light usage is now upon us,” Mr Razak said at
the conference hosted by KPMG in its Belfast headquarters. “Now we need to quickly prove the
reliability and safety of these drones and the systems and frameworks within which they can
operate.”
The ANGOKA conference explored advancements in air mobility and connected societies and
published the findings of a three-year study on the threat landscape which drones and UAVs will
have to safely navigate. A hacking demonstration to illustrate this landscape and how ANGOKA can
mitigate for all eventualities using its secure communication technology was successfully completed.

Addressing the conference, Chris Brown, KPMG Partner, Aviation Strategy and Global Chair, AAM
and Future of Flight said Northern Ireland is well positioned to benefit from the emerging sector.
“Investing in a new ecosystem to support AAM will involve significant coordination of effort and
investment, but will bring a range of benefits to the people, businesses and communities of
Northern Ireland,” Mr Brown said adding that the export potential exists if we can replicate our
existing success in the traditional aerospace supply chain, add our cybersecurity expertise to the
export mix, and attract an aircraft original equipment manufacturer.
These would include faster medical deliveries and emergency relief, remote maintenance of utilities
installations on and offshore, leapfrogging Belfast-centric infrastructure bottlenecks, last mile
deliveries to your door, connectivity of under-served locations and zero emissions integrated
transport.
Mr Brown compared the cost of building roads, railways and bridges to the significantly lower
investment required for the installation of controlled air corridors. He considers the sector has the
potential to be worth £2bn in exports.
ANGOKA’s role in securing these air corridors and the UAVs using them, known as Uncrewed Traffic
Management systems (UTMs) is now acknowleged as central to the successful deployment of the
new transport technologies. Mr Razak says his company’s role ensuring the accuracy and security of
the communications between devices is central to the successful, safe and secure operation of
automated, teleoperated and UAVs.

“We are moving faster than ever towards the commercialization of automated flight across many
sectors ranging from search and rescue to logistics and traffic management,” he says.

ANGOKA has a proven record of creating impenetrable security systems to protect driverless road
vehicles and UAVs. In March this year, two commercial vehicles controlled by a remote operator in
Oxford travelled on open roads throughout Oxford and London City. During the journey they were
repeatedly subjected to hacking attempts all of which were unsuccessful due to the fitted ANGOKA
cyber security system.

The Belfast firm has partnered with a number of projects in the UK Research and Innovation’s Future
Flight Challenge including Skyway in the south of England, a 165mile (256km) drone corridor – the
world's longest, have been designated for drones and unmanned aircraft. ANGOKA supplies the
future-proof security for automated, teleoperated and unmanned aircraft using these corridors.
Speakers included a stellar cast from the world’s leading advanced air mobility and cyber security
sectors. Kieran Arnold, the chief architect at Future Networks and Systems, Laura O’Neill, digital
transformation manager at Belfast Harbour, Gokhan Celik of A-TechSYN, Mark Balsdon, Head of New
Airspace Users and Partnerships, NATS, Paul Malcolmson, regional manager Northern Ireland for
Innovate UK, Stephen Farmer, Altitude Angel, James Fletcher, Director of Cyber Centre of Excellence,
KPMG, Dr Saba al-Rubaye, Cranfield University and Dr Vishal Sharma of QUB.

 

 

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