CATEC, the Advanced Center for Aerospace Technologies, the aerospace company Pegasus Aero Group, and the leading company in the development and management of vertiports, Bluenest by Globalvia, have signed a framework cooperation agreement during the celebration of UNVEX in Barcelona, the largest European meeting of unmanned aircraft professionals, to create a center dedicated to the validation and testing of drones in advanced and urban air mobility.

The agreement was signed by the General Director of CATEC, Joaquín Rodríguez, the Director of Innovation of Pegasus Aero Group, José Luis Quirós, and the General Director of Bluenest by Globalvia, José Ignacio Rodríguez.

In this center, located in Aerópolis (Seville), projects will primarily be developed for the testing of unmanned platforms, facilities, and services at vertiports, and flight tests with drones in urban areas. This complements other initiatives being developed in Seville related to UAS and advanced air mobility.

The center will feature state-of-the-art facilities, including a reserved area at the Seilaf heliport, a subsidiary of Grupo Pegasus, where CATEC researchers can conduct flight tests, avionics checks, payload operations, maintenance operations, and drone pilot training, among other uses. Additionally, Bluenest will have a team of expert engineers in infrastructure and IT who will develop an advanced vertiport operational solution for large autonomous drones and electric passenger aircraft in collaboration with other entities with common initiatives. Pegasus Aero Group will contribute its more than 50 years of experience as an operator of manned aircraft and, in the immediate future, also unmanned ones for the development of procedures and support in obtaining permits from the competent authority.

The primary focus will be on the validation of infrastructure and drones specifically designed for urban air mobility. These advancements can be used for a variety of applications, such as package delivery, traffic surveillance, air taxis, and infrastructure inspection, among other services. These technologies are expected not only to improve the efficiency of urban services but also to help reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Additionally, these three entities will work to incorporate knowledge agents and universities into the project.

The General Director of CATEC, Joaquín Rodríguez, highlighted that “this collaboration represents a leap forward in Andalusia’s capacity for the validation of UAS technologies and urban air mobility, led by three entities with a recognized track record in the sector, who are committed to the development of this new type of mobility, thus adding new initiatives to continue promoting the business fabric.”

For his part, the General Director of Bluenest by Globalvia, José Ignacio Rodríguez, added, “We consider this strategic alliance with companies with which we already collaborate on various initiatives and projects in Andalusia and other regions to be very significant. By combining efforts with natural and strategic partners in urban air mobility, we multiply the results and reach.”

Finally, the Director of Innovation of Pegasus Aero Group, José Luis Quirós, emphasized that “the complementarity of the three partners, each contributing very relevant capabilities in their area of expertise, can only lead to a faster and more solid progress towards achieving the objectives and contributing to positioning Seville as a benchmark in the field of urban mobility.”