16 Sep Israel Aerospace Industries Makes History with its Heron UAV Landing at Ben Gurion Airport via Remote Control
The Heron UAV is the first in the world to land at an international airport and integrate into the airspace alongside commercial flights
September 16, 2020 – The Heron, a UAV developed and built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), landed today at Ben Gurion International Airport, becoming the first UAV to land in an international airport alongside commercial flights occupying civilian air space. The UAV took off from Ein Shemer airfield, landed at Ben Gurion, and flew back to Ein Shemer. The entire takeoff, flight, and landing were operated from the Ein Shemer control station.
This historic landing proves the maturity and safety of IAI’s Long Runner operating system, which allows UAVs to take off and land automatically on long-haul routes (ranges of up to 1500 km and more) using satellite communications technology and a combination of accurate take-off and automatic landing capability.
The Heron has an extensive operational record during the many years it’s been in use by the Israeli, German, and other nations’ air forces and is designed to carry out longer strategic and tactical missions. It can withstand severe weather conditions, carry multiple payloads (sensors), and transmit real-time information to the forces and decision-makers in the field. The Heron UAV can carry cargo up to 290 kg and can be used for a range of civilian purposes as well.
IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group, Moshe Levy, said, “IAI’s Heron UAV made a significant breakthrough today, landing for the first time at an international airport. The future of the world of aviation will need to allow unmanned aerial vehicles to land at civilian airports, and today this happened for the first time thanks to the hard and joint work of the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel and the Israel Airports Authority. This is a great acheivment for IAI in the UAV arena.”
Israel Aerospace Industries:
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is a world-leading aerospace and defense company innovating and delivering state-of-the-art technologies in space, air, land, naval, cyber & homeland security for defense and commercial markets. Combining the “Start-up Nation” spirit of innovation with decades of combat-proven experience, IAI provides customers with tailor-made, cutting-edge solutions to the unique challenges they face including satellites, UAVs, missiles, intelligence solutions, weapon systems, air defense systems, robotic systems, radars, business jets, aerostructures, and more. Established in 1953, IAI is one of Israel’s largest technology employers with offices and R&D centers in Israel and abroad. For more information, visit https://www.iai.co.il/
In the pictures:
IAI Heron lands at Ben Gurion International Airport (Credit: Alon Ron)