National drone centre to be built in Saxony-Anhalt/Willingmann: "Cochstedt to become the centre of a future technology".

© Airport Magdeburg/ Cochstedt

State clears way for DLR to purchase airport

In Saxony-Anhalt, a National Test Centre of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for civilian unmanned aerial systems is to be established. The state government today paved the way for the acquisition of Cochstedt Airport (Salzlandkreis) by DLR. 

Minister Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann stresses: "The new test centre is a direct hit for Saxony-Anhalt in our settlement policy and offers great development opportunities for the region and the state. Cochstedt will thus become the centre, the nucleus of a true future technology. That is why I have emphatically supported the establishment of this DLR research location. The National Testing Centre offers great opportunities to attract new innovative companies, strengthen research skills in this field, network with science in the country and use Cochstedt Airport effectively in the long term".

"The development, testing, construction and operation of unmanned aeronautical systems will confront science and industry with new challenges," adds Prof. Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board member responsible for aeronautical research and technology. "Particularly under the aspects of future urban air mobility, for the certification of the safe operation of these unmanned aeronautical systems it is essential to test the real application and the integration into air traffic in a controlled environment. The establishment of a national test centre for unmanned aerial vehicles at Cochstedt Airport - the only one of its kind in Europe - will also establish a close-knit and highly innovative research network. Cochstedt is the ideal place for this because of its location and its approval as a regular commercial airport."

The development of civil unmanned aviation systems is characterised by a very high speed of innovation. In order to enable the clarification of a wide range of open questions and the introduction of technology on an industrial scale, a research infrastructure with a test centre for the development of these aviation systems and a training centre for potential users are to be set up at Cochstedt Airport. In the future, DLR's capabilities and competences for the development of unmanned civil aviation systems and regulatory requirements will be bundled at the airport.

The purchase agreement for the acquisition of Cochstedt Airport by DLR is to be signed shortly. The state of Saxony-Anhalt is providing DLR with special funding of around 15.8 million euros and will be participating in DLR's institutional funding in future. DLR is also investing 10 million euros from its own resources.

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