AIRmarket and PTAC meet Energy UTM Milestone

  • AIRmarket, in conjunction with the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC), have completed their commitments for the  Energy UTM Trials under the Digital Innovation in Clean Energy (DICE) program.
  • The project is now completed, with the inspection operations at the Suncor Fort Hills Mine. 
  • The operations successfully conducted Beyond Visual Line of sight (BVLOS) Drone flights with the use of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) as a result of this project.
  • In aggregate the project has successfully conducted BVLOS Drone inspections on Wells, Pipelines and Oil Sand Mines. 
  • Drone BVLOS inspections will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, combined with the digital landscape involving artificial intelligence. 

AIRmarket and PTAC have closed out a critical milestone for Energy UTM Trials.  With the completion of BVLOS flight operations at the Suncor Fort Hills Mine near Fort McMurray, Alberta, AIRmarket has satisfied the parameters of a project commissioned by Alberta Innovates. PTAC facilitated an industry consortium that included several energy companies who participated in the Energy UTM Trials.

In April 2020, as the COVID19 pandemic started to shut down industries, AIRmarket and PTAC began an ambitious project to prove out the use of aerial drone inspections in Canada.  The project, known as the Energy UTM Trials, involved AIRmarket, PTAC, TELUS, Transport Canada, NAV Canada, TC Energy and Suncor.  

 AIRmarket developed three strategic use-cases to be validated – pipeline, wells, and oil sands mine inspections. 

This project has provided valuable insights on how to operationalize these use-cases using remotely piloted drones and Unmanned Traffic Management Services (UTM). Right now, this is conducted using airplanes, helicopters and vehicles.  BVLOS drone inspection will also improve the safety and compliance mandates required by the energy sector.  

“The remote sensing and reduced carbon footprint of drones provides the Canadian Energy sector with game-changing capabilities to empower the net-zero objectives,” said Lindsay Mohr, AIRmarket CEO/Founder. “The Canadian Energy sector, as global leaders in  environmental stewardship, are embracing the use of drone technology.” 

The completion of this project met the goals set out by DICE and Alberta Innovates to demonstrate that the collaboration required between several government agencies and corporate entities will one day become a normal method of inspection and decision-making. 

For more information on the Energy UTM Trials, please visit

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