Riga Is Becoming a Latvian Haven for Drone Manufacturing and Racing

Riga isn’t a city we hear about often, if at all, when it comes to the drone industry. Recent developments, however, suggest that this may change.

byMarco Margaritoff| PUBLISHED Mar 12, 2018 6:54 PM
Riga Is Becoming a Latvian Haven for Drone Manufacturing and Racing

It might come as a surprise to think of Latvia as a country enthralled by unmanned aerial vehicles, but the capital city of Riga has certainly become an Eastern European hub of sorts, when it comes to drone enthusiasts. There’s an up and coming drone industry there, and as nascent as it may appear, Riga has been fostering fertile ground for the manufacturing, transportation, and racing-related drone fields to take off. 

According to Forbes, a company called Atlas Aerospace will soon commence producing drones in Riga on a large scale, with a plant that manufactures carbon components, which would create hundreds of jobs. The goal is to establish a drone building hub in Latvia’s capital, that would nurture the UAV industry in the country and solidify it as a drone-enthusiastic spot in Eastern Europe. Racing, too, is becoming quite the intriguing eSport for Latvians as of late. The Rīdzinieki (Latvian Riga citizens) are reportedly an active bunch when it comes to tech competitions, drone racing, and eSports, in general. 

As for cargo transportation and other autonomous drones in the country, Latvian Airdog has reportedly been designing drones specifically for the extreme sport market. It has been producing UAVs equipped with GoPro cameras, and drones which the company calls "Aerones," which can transport heavy payloads as well as combat fire-related incidents. 

All in all, it seems that Riga has drones in mind like any other modern metropolis keen on alleviating certain issues like fire, transportation, boosting the economy, and attracting talent and investment. The advent of modern UAVs, with their affordability and practical features, is slowly but surely establishing itself as the key to a wide variety of problems, and one that would be unwise to ignore or dismiss as a fad. When drones are a more environmentally friendly option than conventional truck delivery, and could potentially transport citizens from one place to another within the next decade, it seems only right that Riga is keen on joining the effort.