China’s first drone compound that allows for a variety of drone testing with loosened regulations officially opened in Jinshan, Shanghai on Thursday.
According to Yicai Global, Shanghai’s Jinshan district has quickly become fertile ground for China’s unmanned aerial systems research, development, and testing, with one of the biggest online meal delivery platforms recently garnering approval to aerially deliver food in the region. Today’s news doubles down the government’s investment in the drone industry.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China, Shanghai’s transport commission, and the Chinese Air Force’s Shanghai command all came together to establish this innovation center. The facility will provide participants with 36 square miles (58 square kilometers) of airspace, and is intended to boost research, development and testing for industrial drone applications being considered by the state.
The three main elements being prioritized at Shanghai’s new drone center are flight testing, demonstrating the intended drone applications, and refining their abilities for eventual industrial implementation. There are also serious considerations of testing water-borne takeoff and landing drone systems, which would presumably be a priority for the more rural and remote areas of the country.
Additionally, the compound will further research for law enforcement and firefighting applications and serve as a manufacturing and assembly facility for drone companies in the future. Ultimately, a new UAS testing and innovation facility can only mean further research, development, and competition. For China, this will surely help boost the regional drone industry, with its successes only serving as motivation for its global competitors.