BVLOS Flight within the UK Strikes Ahead with New Drone Trials

Alexander Glinz, CC BY-SA 3.0 

Drone Trials Support BVLOS in the UK

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian J. McNabb

The UK Civil Aviation authority recently announced six new drone trials designed to bring BVLOS drone operations closer to broad release, inviting several organizations to participate in their new innovation sandbox. The selected projects include medical drone deliveries, energy infrastructure inspection, and open “sky highways”, and are designed to enhance and plot out the future of BVLOS operations in the UK.

The selected projects and organizations involved include Apian London Health Bridge; Cranfield Airport and Project BLUEPRINT; Droneprep Open Skies Cornwall; HexCam; Skyports Project TRAject; and Snowdonia Aerospace Centre Project Dragons Eye.

These new trials will help develop plans for how drones can be safely integrated with other airspace users, as part of the regulator’s wider Airspace Modernisation Strategy.

The trials will consider a new policy concept that focuses on a specific type of airspace structure called a temporary reserved area (TRA) to enable the trialling of systems and approaches to safely enable drones to operate within the same airspace as other aircraft.

Prior to the new concept, drone operators wanting to fly BVLOS typically had to apply for a temporary danger area (TDA), which would effectively close a section of airspace for most other users for up to 90 days.

Sophie O’Sullivan, head of Future Safety and Innovation for the UK Civil Aviation authority, said “Our innovation sandboxes play a pivotal role in our ongoing mission to develop efficient, forward-thinking regulations that will allow different types of aircraft to use the same airspace. The chosen projects encompass a range of critical applications, including medical deliveries and infrastructure surveying. They highlight the varying role that drones could play in the aviation ecosystem and the trials will provide invaluable insights into how we integrate drones safely with existing airspace users.”

More information on the UK’s efforts to modernize their airspace management strategies can be found here.

Read more:

Ian McNabb is a staff writer based in Boston, MA. His interests include geopolitics, emerging technologies, environmental sustainability, and Boston College sports.


Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


Subscribe to DroneLife here.

Related Articles