The Concept

The Snowlifter is a 6-8-person drone for backcountry skiing and snowboarding access with six rotors and storage space for batteries and equipment. It would be an alternative to conventional helicopters and ski lifts that also has mountain rescue and avalanche response capabilities as a secondary but equally important role.

Origin of the Concept

The Snowlifter concept was created to inspire future engineers and designers to design and build a revolutionary way of serving in hard-to-reach zones in the mountains to pick up, drop off, or rescue skiers and snowboarders.

How It Works

The Snowlifter would shuttle passengers from a low altitude pick-up point to high altitude drop-off points. It would then return to its departure point or another preprogramed location to wait for the next pick-up. It would enable skiers and snowboarders to access terrain that is not served by conventional ski lifts, offering an alternative to conventional helicopters and cat skiing operations.

Potential Market

The drones could be operated by resorts, independent companies, or wealthy private owners, with year-round usage for heli-biking, backcountry expeditions, skiing, snowboarding, mountain rescue and avalanche response capabilities.


I would like to thank David Scorer for creating and collaborating with us on his new aircraft concept. I would also like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images. Martin studied design at the University of Buenos Aires and works as an Industrial Designer for the ICAO. If you would like to submit an idea about the future of aviation, we invite you to visit ICAO’s future of aviation website.