Back in January, Supply Chain Matters called reader attention to a U.S. based Aquiline Drones, a services company with a rather unique value proposition. Essentially this provider was the essence of an IT Cloud platform application, drone designer and manufacturer, as well as an air transport services provider. The firm could further be characterized as the fourth drone airline services provider, competing with entities such as Amazon Prime Air, UPS, and Google’s Alphabet Wing.
We wanted to provide added attention to this provider not only because of the cool factor, but also our sense that supply chain technology, transportation and logistics communities, governmental and commercial would become even more aware of Aquiline and its capabilities in these unique services area. Not only can drones be deployed to conduct routine inspections of facilities and mission-critical infrastructure, but also assessing and mitigating potential and actual disasters that could ultimately lead to loss of life and property. The company also has new opportunities that some readers might want to consider.
Having the opportunity to speak directly with the company’s founder, Barry Alexander, we were even more convinced by his vision, genuineness and dedication. We believed that the use of drones for supporting critical, sensitive or specialized supply, customer fulfillment, national security or disaster needs would come into view, along with a drone airline available for specialized services and applications.
That was also before the COVID-19 pandemic made its presence.
Aquiline Drones has now indicated it has 16 staff members working at its corporate headquarters, including key executive roles, with three external technology teams strategically dispersed across the United States. The company further indicates that it is one of the fastest-growing full-service drone companies in the U.S..
Plans currently call for increasing corporate staffing with an additional 54 management, business and production facilities and the company has further signed a new ten-year lease to expand its Hartford Connecticut based corporate facilities.
In a recent news release, Founder and CEO Barry Alexander indicated:
“Our massive US expansion is aptly timed and will enable quick-start production of our new and superior line of commercial and industrial drones, dubbed “Spartacus”, while we simultaneously finalize numerous manufacturing licensing agreements with industry-leading Drone Vault of France and Aerialtronics of the Netherlands”
The report further cites a recent market research report indicating that the commercial drone sector is growing a rate of 13.8 percent compounded annually and is expected to double by 2025.
Our sense is that with the effects and lessons of COVID-19, doubling may occur earlier.
New Training and Small Business Development Program
We further wanted to add visibility to Aquiline’s Flight-to-the Future Initiative , which is a commercial drone pilot training program designed to meet growing demand.
The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Ethan James, indicates in this recent update:
“Our hiring boom to assemble US-made drones corresponds perfectly with the launch of Flight-to-the-Future, a gateway to create and improve income streams for anyone unemployed, underemployed or facing a furlough.”
This program has reportedly been designed to produce qualified drone small business owners but also appeals to skilled professionals like engineers, fire fighters, EMS and other types of skilled workers who can earn their drone certification. We would add military veterans as likely other great candidates for this type of program.
The program prepares students to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) qualification exam, and adds training in Cloud technology, artificial intelligence and Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled capabilities along with the opportunity for procuring and registering one commercial drone.
Founder CEO Alexander indicated: “For under a $1000 and in just a matter of months, certified and well-trained drone pilots will be on-track to potentially earning six-figures.”
Alexander further sees this program as one means for companies to sponsor unemployed dis-enfranchised workers impacted by the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The next program start-date is September, 1, 2020 which is expected to graduate its first class of “drone-preneurs” by November 1st.
© Copyright 2020, The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved.