MILAN, May 25 (Reuters) - Air traffic controller ENAV , which has been on the lookout for new sources of revenues, has picked aerospace and defence group Leonardo to develop a platform to manage drone traffic in the Italian airspace, it said on Friday.
As part of the deal, the companies will form a newco, in which ENAV will hold a 60 percent stake, with the rest owned by industrial players led by Leonardo. The newco will help develop a management system that will enable conventional air traffic to coexist with drones.
“The management of drones is one of the key initiatives of our 2018-2022 business plan. Recent data and forecasts allow us to believe that it will indeed be a very rapidly growing phenomenon,” ENAV CEO Roberta Neri said in a statement.
ENAV cited a study which forecast more than 7 million drones flying in European skies by 2035.
Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo; editing by Agnieszka Flak