Friday, December 3, 2021

LMT becomes Europe’s first certified mobile operator to issue drone piloting licenses

LMT, Latvia’s leading mobile operator and tech innovator, has become Europe’s first mobile operator to obtain certification to educate and examinate pilotes to receive licenses. 

The country’s Civil Aviation Agency has certified LMT as a recognized organization to provide lessons and examinations, after which the applicant can receive a Remote Pilot Certificate of Competency in the A2 Open category of drone licenses, which includes personal and sport drones from 0.5-2kg in weight.

LMT is the first mobile operator to receive this mandate from a state regulatory agency in the EU. While several organizations have received this mandate, LMT is the first among mobile operators, and the first licencing organization in Northern Europe. 

As the future of drones is increasingly connected, drones and mobile operators will be increasingly intertwined. Bringing the function of drone licensing under the roof of mobile networks is a step towards ensuring drone connectivity, which, in turn, is a prerequisite for smart city development.

“We’ve long been believers that the future is mobile-only, and that drones are part of that future. We’ve seen over and over again the benefit of connecting drones to the mobile network – not only for safety via ID and authorisation, but also to facilitate smart city applications and remote drone use cases. That’s why it’s only a logical step for us a mobile operator and innovator to hold drone licencing functions, and serve as a one-stop-shop for everything that’s drone-related.” – Ingmārs Pūķis, Vice President and Member of the Board at LMT

LMT’s licencing process includes mandatory attendance of a 3 day program that is made up of theoretical and practical field experience. The program is required to follow local drone flight restrictions, as well as EU regulation nr 2019/947, which establishes the normal and regulations for the use of UAS in European airspace.

Drone licenses are required in the EU for anyone who wishes to fly a drone that’s heavier than 250 grams. Additional certifications are necessary for flight Beyond the Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS).

LMT is involved in various drone and UTM-related projects. It has demonstrated live BVLOS flights, as well as cross-border connected flights. It is currently working with the Latvian Air Traffic Control organization to develop solutions to integrate UAVs into joint airspace. LMT has also previously demonstrated AI-powered rescue drones and Remote ID devices.

Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.