Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are starting to play a bigger role on Guam and will continue to do so as drone technology continues to advance.
“I basically thought there was no reason why we couldn’t bring that technology here to Guam,” said Charlie Hermosa, president of Bella Wings Aviation.
So he did.
Bella Wings Aviation is a Guam-based drone start-up, which Hermosa co-founded with Pearla Cordero.
Hermosa, the visionary behind Bella Wings, is a former U.S. Marine Corps officer, who is spearheading the business with a tight team of experts. Cordero brings 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, and currently holds an FAA PPL license, as well as a Part 107 certification.
The company launched its FAA-regulated commercial drone business on Guam in December 2020, offering various services including touch-free delivery that promises a better alternative to traditional delivery. With the With the onset of the global pandemic last year, Bella Wings’ business model really took shape.
Bella Wings’ launch followed the recent signing of Public Law 35-118, which adds commercial drone services to the roster of industries that qualify for the government’s Qualifying Certificate program.
The law paves the way for the promotion of the emerging industry on Guam and Bella Wings Aviation is ahead of the game.
Guam’s first drone-delivery company wants the developing industry to propel and inspire people, create jobs and employ residents in preparation for a future in high-tech services.
Hermosa and Cordero envision a regional expansion, with plans to fly to island nations such as Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and Marshall Islands.
“You can’t even imagine how much diversity it has, and the capabilities and advantages a drone brings the world. It’s just crazy. It’s going to be the wave of the future, and you don’t want to lose your opportunity,” said Cordero, chief operating officer.
Bella Wings has partnered with marketing firm Klara M/2cofly’s Greg Barnes and Dong Won Lee, also a licensed drone pilot. 2cofly (pronounced “E"cofly) focuses on 2D & 3D drone mapping, UXO surveying, and commercial inspections. This type of technology will enhance many industries, such as construction.
Another strategic partnership is with Chicago-based Valqari, with its patented mailbox stations. Valqari provides delivery stations that offer safe, convenient landing stations for UAVs with six separate storage units to accommodate multiple drone- and traditional deliveries or pick-ups.
With the ongoing testing of different types of drones, Bella Wings Aviation is positioning itself to deliver on:
■ Revolutionizing touchless delivery. The company offers touch-free, streamlined delivery of essential goods and supplies to clients, even in remote areas, via unique “April tags” placed on the ground outside their homes or businesses. Drones go anywhere, and faster, and packages don’t get lost or stolen. Mailbox stations provide an alternative delivery site and system to which customers have 24/7 access. In addition, the “wow” factor in this service is priceless to innumerable recipients. Imagine birthday, anniversary, engagement and wedding events that include this feature.
■ Drone Photography & Videography, including authorized nighttime flight. Additional “commercial inspections” services include mapping, 3D modeling and other needs, such as surveying Unexploded Ordnance sites. Construction and insurance industries, disaster recovery efforts, commercial buildings and home inspections also can benefit from these services.
■ Search & Rescue.With Infrared technology, drones can provide locating capabilities and life-saving deliveries, in cooperation with first-responders. In emergency situations, the UAVs can render assistance quickly and accurately.
■ Aerial Advertising. Advertising & marketing firms use drones to make public statements or announcements. The UAVs can fly-by, but also hover overhead. They can deliver flying banners to private parties or for hotel promotions, or even a government message to visitors “as a safety device,” or to welcome beachgoers back outdoors!
Hermosa said to ensure privacy of the island’s residents, Bella Wings will carve out accurate flight paths, but that these paths will be limited to airspace over main roads and along the coastlines instead of over homes, following all the guidelines of the FAA’s Part 107 regulations.
Another safety issue that may be of concern to residents is what happens if a drone loses its way, or its connection to Bella Wings’ network while on its way to a delivery. Hermosa assures everyone that within their testing, the autonomous flight manager monitored by a “home tower,” keeps track of all the drones and, if at any point connection to that tower is lost, the drone will immediately abort its mission and return home.
Within the millions of ocean space and airspace miles of our Pacific Islands – let alone the isles and atolls themselves – are intimate details about our surroundings that drones can help us learn and share.
For more information, log in to www.bellawingsaviation.com.