HAPS Alliance Member Spotlight with Kea Aerospace on its Southern Hemisphere Stratospheric Aircraft

Mark Rocket, CEO, Kea Aerospace 

Formed in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2018, Kea Aerospace is focused on developing outstanding aerospace technology, while growing and supporting a local aerospace ecosystem. The company is building a stratospheric solar-powered aircraft, the Kea Atmos, which will acquire frequent, high-resolution aerial imagery over vast areas to bridge the large data gap for numerous applications. Environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster management and maritime domain awareness are important to Kea Aerospace’s brand values and focus. The company is on a mission to generate insights from the stratosphere that will improve life on our planet. 

Kea Aerospace is a founding partner of the local industry body Aerospace Christchurch, which resulted in the development of the Christchurch Aerospace Sector Plan. Christchurch is the first city in New Zealand to have a space strategy, initiating a well-connected aerospace community as a result. Kea Aerospace aims to partner and collaborate with world-leading telecommunications, technology, aviation and aerospace companies to accelerate the commercial adoption of our technologies, develop safety and regulatory standards, and maintain a cooperative HAPS ecosystem.  

We see many parallels between the ways in which the HAPS Alliance and Kea Aerospace are run. The HAPS Alliance encourages collaboration with other organizations to influence regulatory direction while promoting the benefits of HAPS in the stratosphere – a purpose that is important to Kea Aerospace. Kea Aerospace is led by aerospace industry participants with a track record of world-leading innovation, and as a wider group, we are comprised of a talented team of engineers and aviators. This structure allows us to achieve the most progress to move forward in developing projects such as the Kea Atmos.   

We are honored to have the opportunity to build global recognition of the potential of HAPS technology in a wide range of important applications. The HAPS Alliance is well positioned to be a leader in setting the standard for aerospace innovation, and we at Kea Aerospace are pleased to be the first member organization building a stratospheric aircraft based in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere.