The UK Government Drones Pathfinder Programme announces the addition of a new Pathfinder project

Airspace Integration of Drones in support of COVID response Pathfinder aims to deliver an operating environment where all airspace users are detected, and their locations presented back to other drone operators. This will enable drones to safely “detect and avoid” other drones and air users.

The project will be delivered by Trax International in partnership with UAvionix, ANRA Technologies UK and Plane Finder. Initial trials will take place at The Aviation Innovation Centre, Goodwood and will also include Skyports and Auriga Aerospace. The project is partly funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and is expected to be completed by November 2021.

Working under the Civil Aviation Authority’s regulatory requirements, the consortium aims to demonstrate safe Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flight alongside conventional air traffic in non-segregated airspace. 

This will be achieved by developing a comprehensive electronic surveillance picture based on Mode-S and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transmissions using existing internationally recognised systems, procedures and rules, and integrating it into an unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform. This information will be re-broadcast via Traffic Information Service – Broadcast (TIS-B) to enhance the situational awareness of airspace users. 

Transport Minister Rachael Maclean said:

“The UK is already a world-leader when it comes to innovation in aviation and this exciting project will take us one step further to being able to safely use drones alongside other air traffic in UK airspace.

“This trial is supported by our Drones Pathfinder Programme which we are pleased to be funding into 2021/22.” 

Trax International will be providing an overview of the project at the Government Drones Pathfinder Community Webinar on 31st March. You can register for the event HERE. These community events provide an opportunity for the Drones community to share experiences and form networking connections.

The UK Government Drones Pathfinder programme is sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT) and aims to rapidly drive progress in unmanned aviation technology and regulation, enabling industry and the public sector to fully exploit the market in different industry sectors. 

Pathfinder projects take a phased approach to achieve routine use of drones within the UK and focus on identifying and overcoming the technical, operational, and commercial challenges for bringing a new BVLOS drone-based service to market in the UK.

The Drones Pathfinder Programme is managed by Connected Places Catapult, under the governance of DfTDepartment for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy  and Civil Aviation Authority.

You can find out more information on the Programme and Pathfinder projects on our dedicated Programme page.

About Trax International

Trax International are experts in airspace change, policy, regulatory approvals, classifications and restrictions, flight planning, IFP design, mapping, terrain and charting, live airspace trials, concept development, ATM operational procedures, safety risk assessments and stakeholder engagement and consultation.