NEXT DELIVERY to launch operation of remote, multi-aircraft operation system for drone operations by the end of the year

NEXT DELIVERY Inc. (Kosuge Village, Yamanashi Prefecture; Representative Director: Keisuke Toji; hereinafter “NEXT DELIVERY”) will begin operational use of a system that allows one remote pilot to operate and monitor multiple aircraft (multi-aircraft operation) by December 2024.

NEXT DELIVERY currently operates logistics drones primarily at Level 3.5*1, where remote pilots, who are second class unmanned aircraft pilots (free from visual sight restrictions) or above, operate and monitor logistics drones throughout Japan. In FY2023, remote pilots gathered in Kosuge Village, Yamanashi Prefecture, where NEXT DELIVERY is based, to pilot logistics drones at nine sites in the New Smart Logistics*2SkyHub®*3 social implementation areas under a system where one remote pilot operates and monitors one aircraft remotely.

The total number of flights to date is 1,960, including 252 Level 3.5 flights (as of May 17, 2024), and from FY2024, a trial operation of a system in which one remote pilot can pilot and monitor multiple aircraft (multi-aircraft operation) has already begun, and full operation will be achieved by the end of the year, where a 1 pilot to 5 aircraft ratio will be the goal.

A drone delivery demonstration flight using the AirTruck*4, a dedicated logistics drone, was conducted in Kamishihoro Town, Hokkaido, on Sunday, May 19, 2024, with one remote pilot piloting and monitoring two aircraft. Digital Transformation Minister Kono Taro visited the site on the day of the demonstration and also received the explanation about the multi-aircraft operation.

Minister Kono commented ” We have confirmed a level 3.5 operation, and I do not think this will be a problem in practical use. Areas with declining populations are already in need of drone delivery technology at this point.” after inspecting the actual multi-aircraft operation.

This multi-aircraft operation on a daily basis will make operations more efficient, while at the same time reducing operational costs and accelerating the feasibility of commercializing drone delivery.

Digital Transformation Minister Kono and Kamishihoro Town Mayor Mitsugi Takenaka in front of the AirTruck, a dedicated logistics drone that has conducted multiple aircraft operations. (Kamishihoro Share Office)
Digital Transformation Minister Kono receiving the explanation about Level 3.5, multi-plane operation by NEXT DELIVERY
(Kamishihoro Share Office)


*1 Level 3.5
Following instructions from the Prime Minister at the first meeting of the Council for Digital Administrative and Financial Reform held on October 11, intensive studies were conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism with the aim of commercializing drone-based goods delivery by the end of this year, and a policy such as establishing a new Level 3.5 flight by the end of this year was presented at the Startup and Investment Working Group of the Council for Promoting Regulatory Reform held on November 17, 2011. Level 3.5 flight means that the previous control measures, such as the placement of assistants and signs, are eliminated through the use of digital technology (using onboard cameras to check for the presence of pedestrians, etc.), Further Level 3.5 adds requirements for the possession of an unmanned aircraft pilot license and insurance coverage facilitate flights that involve crossing roads, railroads, etc. This is a major move toward the commercialization of delivery by drone, as it will lead to reductions in operation costs and increased operational efficiency.

*2 New Smart Logistics
A public-private initiative to find solutions to the issues commonly faced by the logistics industry, such as labor shortages, environmental and energy issues, and DX areas, while utilizing digital and technology to ensure the future sustainability of logistics, which is an indispensable infrastructure for people’s daily lives. The project aims to realize the last mile joint delivery, the best mix of land and air transportation, freight and passenger consolidation, automated technology, etc., through co-creation based on an open public platform (O.P.P.) that transcends the boundaries between the industry and the outside world.

*3 SkyHub®︎
A new smart logistics platform jointly developed and deployed by Aeronext and Seino HD that connects existing land transportation and drone logistics, as well as connecting ground and air infrastructure to deliver goods anytime, anywhere. An open and standardized platform with built-in drone delivery, operating from Drone Depots®︎ and using cars and drones as delivery vehicles, and SkyHub®︎ TMS as the base for SkyHub®︎ Delivery (shopping service), SkyHub®︎ Eats (food delivery), SkyHub®︎ Medical (pharmaceutical delivery), as well as joint delivery of packages from different logistics companies in bulk, to develop and provide services tailored to local issues and needs. The introduction of SkyHub® not only has the logistics benefits of promoting unmanned and inventory-free operations and improving last mile delivery efficiency, but also introduces a new logistics infrastructure. Where the logistics industry facing the “2024 Logistics Problem,” SkyHub® will contribute to solving social issues in the region, such as transportation problems in specific depopulated areas, medical problems, disaster countermeasures, and measures for the vulnerable in logistics, SkyHub® will also contribute to address regional issues such as traffic problems in specific depopulated areas, medical problems, disaster countermeasures, and measures for the vulnerable in logistics, as well as raise the level of satisfaction of residents and communities by improving convenience and quality of life.

*4 Dedicated Logistics Drone AirTruck
AirTruck, the first mass-produced logistics drone developed in Japan by Aeronext, a next-generation drone technology startup, in collaboration with ACSL, achieves stable flight with Aeronext’s proprietary 4D GRAVITY®*5 airframe structure design technology. AirTruck is a dedicated logistics drone that goes “faster, farther, and is more stable” with enhanced for logistics, specialized for forward motion, and aerodynamic characteristics required for long-distance flight. In Japan, it has a proven track record of flights in various regions where it has been implemented and tested. Overseas, it has flown in Mongolia at an altitude of 1,300 m and an outside temperature of -15°C. (November 2023)

*5 Airframe structural design technology 4D GRAVITY®
Airframe structure design technology developed by Aeronext optimizes aerodynamic characteristics by equalizing motor speed regardless of attitude, condition, or movement during flight and controlling lift, drag, and fuselage center of gravity based on fuselage shape and structure to improve the basic performance of industrial drones, such as stability, efficiency, and mobility, and the transportation performance of drones dedicated to logistics. Aeronext has patented this technology and manages it as part of the 4D GRAVITY® patent portfolio. 4D GRAVITY® improves basic performance and opens up new markets and applications for industrial drones.

A strategic subsidiary of Aeronext, whose main business is drone delivery, established in Kosuge Village, Yamanashi Prefecture in 2021 based on the Aeronext Group’s mission, “A new societal infrastructure for the 100-year life era, a world where enrichment is spread to every corner of the world.” Aeronext and Seino HD jointly develop and deploy SkyHub®, a new smart logistics system that connects existing logistics and drone logistics to create a new societal infrastructure. We are also developing related businesses such as development, sales, operation, and maintenance of both hardware and software related to integrated delivery and drone delivery. Starting with Kosuge Village, Yamanashi Prefecture, we are working to improve the efficiency of regional logistics and address regional issues throughout Japan, including Kamishihoro Town, Hokkaido, and Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture.
*For more information:


*Aeronext, the Aeronext logo, and NEXT DELIVERY, as well as “4D GRAVITY®” “SkyHub®“ are trademarks of Aeronext Inc.
*Other company names and product/service names mentioned in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.