Boeing announces investment in UAS software company Kittyhawk

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Boeing has announced an investment in Kittyhawk, a company that is offering a “unified approach” to the safe operation of commercial UAS.

According to Boeing, Kittyhawk’s technology will support the development of a UAS Traffic Management System (UTM), which will allow both piloted and autonomous air vehicles to safely coexist in the airspace.

Founded in 2015, Kittyhawk has developed enterprise software and mobile-based apps that integrate “real-time UAS flight operations and management solutions” all in one platform. The company’s customer base has grown over the last three years to include industry leaders from a variety of fields, including media, rail transportation, and fire and emergency management agencies that rely on it for end-to-end UAS operations.

“When paired with the broad portfolio of complementary data service offerings within Boeing, Kittyhawk is poised to help us shape the future of safe autonomous flight,” says Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures.

“We are excited to explore new capabilities made possible through foresight, expertise and a focus on holistic solutions that support the safe integration of unmanned systems into the national airspace.”

In partnership with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, Kittyhawk will look to expand UAS operations by participating in the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), which is a collaborative effort to create UTM processes that integrate UAS, cargo delivery and beyond visual line of sight operations (BVLOS) safely into the airspace.

“Boeing's world-renowned aviation expertise and resources will help Kittyhawk continue to mature our enterprise offerings,” comments Joshua Ziering, founder and chief pilot of Kittyhawk.

“Boeing's long history of forging new industries within the aerospace sector will also help as Kittyhawk continues its mission to create robust, open and interoperable standards to empower the commercial drone industry. We have a unique opportunity to pioneer a new aviation industry and having the support of Boeing will give Kittyhawk the resources and expertise we need to be truly disruptive in this space.”

Boeing HorizonX Ventures participated in this seed funding round that was led by Bonfire Ventures, and also included participation by Freestyle Capital.

The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio includes companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems.