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Drones in Malaga skies
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Drones in Malaga skies

The control tower at the Costa del Sol airport has been assigned a key role in designing the mobility of the future, which involves the use of passenger drones for urban and interurban routes

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Friday, 24 May 2024, 14:20

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We Malaga residents have plenty of reasons to feel proud of our airport, which ranks third in flights and passengers in Spain, and is the most important one in the south of the peninsula.

The basic arguments, which are no less valid, come to mind first: air travel brings the wealth of millions of tourists who come to spend their holidays on the Costa del Sol and many other parts of Andalucía; this, directly or indirectly, sustains the majority of the population in the province, a fact that should not be forgotten.

Additionally, it is an exceptional gateway for connecting with all of Europe and many other points in America, Asia, and Africa. The competitive advantages of having such an international infrastructure are undeniable, and I could fill this entire piece just listing them.

However, the reasons I refer to here are different. In 1919, Malaga made history, although it was not yet aware of it, by establishing at the El Rompedizo estate what remains today as the oldest airport in Spain still in its original location.

Now, more than 100 years after that milestone, Enaire has assigned the control tower, which is staffed by a team of professionals passionate about aeronautics, a key role in designing the mobility of the future, which involves the use of passenger drones for urban and interurban routes.

Test routes

It might sound like a Jules Verne novel, but many professionals and companies across Europe, including here, are working to make it possible to travel from the airport to Marbella in just 20 minutes aboard a fleet of unmanned air taxis.

One of the first test routes to be trialled in Spain, likely within a year, will go from here to nearby Granada, a flight of about 50 minutes. It will be just two or three more years before any of you can board one. The world of possibilities that opens up is almost as infinite as the space in the Malaga skies, which are blue eleven months out of twelve.

Later on, as technology and regulations become established, debates will remain about whether these journeys will be affordable for most people and which destinations will and will not be reachable with this technology. But today, allow me to take pride in the fact that Malaga is at the forefront of the mobility of the future.

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