Verified a social implementation model for drones that support island life – Steady progress toward implementation and commercialization in Amami Setouchi Town in 2023 –
November 17, 2022
Under the ESG strategy of “solving social issues and creating sustainable flows of people, commerce, and logistics,” the JAL Group has launched the “Amami Islands Sustainable Project” (*1), making full use of the local traditions, culture, and climate. We are promoting initiatives to expand the permanent population of related people (Village Project) and initiatives that aim to solve regional issues using drones (Drone Project).
In the drone project, we have signed a partnership agreement (*2) with Setouchi Town, Oshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture, aiming to solve local problems using drones, and have been involved in the
transportation of relief supplies to isolated villages in the event of a disaster and daily necessities and medical care. We have been verifying the transportation service for related goods.
This fiscal year, we are also jointly participating in Setouchi Town’s “Smart Town Promotion Project Using Drones”.This time, we will combine ICT such as smartphone apps with drone operations to implement remote island areas that utilize drones in times of disaster and peacetime. We conducted a demonstration experiment to build a model.
[Outline of demonstration experiment]
From October 24th to 27th, in collaboration with Setouchi Town, we verified the use of drones during disasters and during normal times connecting Kakeromajima, Yorojima, and Ukejima (secondary remote islands). Since these remote islands have problems in response to natural disasters and stable marine logistics, we set up a scenario for solving problems with drones, and participate in the participation of residents of each village, local governments, related organizations and companies. We conducted a demonstration experiment while receiving [Image 2
1. Implementation period: October 24th (Monday) to 27th (Thursday), 2022 2. Location: Amami Setouchi Town Koniya, Seso/Nishiamuro (Kakeroma Island), Yoro (Yoji Island), Ikeji (Ukejima)
3. Demonstration experiment details:
1. Operation management of multiple aircraft according to usage cases at the centralized operation center
We used multiple types of drones depending on the use of disasters and peacetime, aerial photography and air transportation, and centralized remote management at the operation center set up in Koniya, Setouchi Town. We verified an operation management system that can respond quickly to local operating environment conditions and changes, not only during times of disaster but also during normal operations. 2. Stable operation of long-distance transport routes to Yoroshima and Ukeshima Yoroshima and Ukeshima have a logistics problem because the rate of ship service is greatly affected by weather conditions. Assuming that the existing logistics will be supplemented by air transportation of medicines and daily necessities, etc., we operated a large drone on a direct route connecting Koniya = Yoroshima and Koniya = Ukeshima (about 20 km each way). On the day of the demonstration, we were able to transport approximately 20kg of goods even under weather conditions with wind speeds exceeding 10m/sec.
3. Utilization of drones combined with ICT
Assuming a disaster, we were responsible for grasping the damage situation by drone aerial photography and airlifting relief supplies. The Self-Defense Forces, firefighters, and police will also
participate in the disaster countermeasures headquarters set up at the Setouchi town hall, and they will check the flight position of the drone for photography and the high-resolution captured images. All disaster information and requests for relief supplies were collected and displayed on a dashboard, and the combination of drones and ICT was used to quickly grasp the damage situation and discuss and decide on countermeasures.
We also verified a service model that combines a dedicated smartphone app for ordering and receiving orders for daily necessities. Based on these demonstration experiments, we will proceed with the implementation and commercialization of the Setouchi Remote Island Model in FY2023.
In addition, further use cases are expected in the course of promoting the utilization of the region as a whole. / We will support the realization of this by leveraging our know-how on Level 4 and simultaneous operation of multiple aircraft (*3)), and by utilizing our operations, technology, and knowledge in the air transportation business, such as safety management and flight management.
(*1) Press release dated October 14, 2021 ““JAL Group Amami Islands Sustainable Project” started, the first will be a village project and a drone project” URL: https://press.jal.co
(*2) Joint release on October 14, 2020 “Amami Setouchi Town, Japan Air Commuter, JAL, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and MS & AD Inter-Risk Research & Consulting Conclude a Partnership Agreement, Aiming to Solve Regional Issues Using Drones” URL:
(*3) KDDI and JAL have started an initiative to realize one-to-many flights for the social infrastructure of drones
Details about this release: