Future Opportunities For The Operation Of Uav’s In Congested Areas And Other Airspace In The United Kingdom

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This paper looks at the future of UAVs in the UK, drawing information from all the key innovators, movers and shakers across Europe. If you are looking to the future with your drone business, this document contains what you need to know.

An extract from this in depth, 13 page document
(with an additional 5 page bibliography of and 3 pages of references)

“…there is going to be an increase in demand for UAV automation research, based around centralised UAV flight control through a Unified Traffic Management System, or ‘UTM’. This means that EASA and the CAA appear to be willing to decentralise the responsibilities of the PIC, in turn allowing the aircraft a greater degree of freedom to make decisions and self-manage, whilst still under supervision of an experienced pilot. There is a second area in which UAV’s could pose a hazard, this being airspace congested with other aircraft, rather than being over a congested area. Congested areas and airspace have different challenges to overcome in order to operate safely.

The increase of 2,230% in ‘serious incidents’ reported involving Drones (EASA Safety Report 2017, Section 7, p90) makes for a total of nearly 1,500 separate reports. These range from airspace infringement, loss of control, landing take-off issues and accidents and ‘airprox’ incidents. A significant number are related to system reliability (loss of control, weather conditions affecting the aircraft, irresponsible operators), which is something that needs to be addressed robustly if the plans for U-Space as described in figure 1 are to be successfully brought in.

The UK Government released a consultation review document in June 2017 (Unlocking the UK’s High Tech Economy: Consultation on the Safe Use of Drones in the UK Government Response).This explores the views of interested parties on the UK’s approach to Drone use in the future. Amongst the responses, there is an encouraging and collaborative prospect put forward:

“… areas could perhaps be marked as ‘Drone Innovation Zones’ on maps or in the safety apps many Drone operators use. The purpose of these ‘Drone Innovation Zones’ would be to more easily allow for ambitious new testing in geographical areas where any risks to safety are naturally much reduced.”

UK Government Response 2017″

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