Drone Pathfinder Programme

The Pathfinder Programme is part of a wider programme of work, both government led and across the UK’s public and private sectors. The programme is aimed at enabling integration of drones into UK airspace.

In 2018 the Programme’s focus was reviewed and refreshed, under the governance of the Department for Transport (DfT)the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Connected Places Catapult.

Overcoming barriers

The Programme will focus on identifying and overcoming the technical, operational, and commercial barriers, providing a platform for industry innovators to engage with government and the regulator at early stages, to jointly explore solutions and share information throughout the community. This increased engagement will serve to both maximise understanding of the current and future regulatory environment, as well as creating an opening for suggested adaptations to regulations where appropriate.

It is envisaged that this will assist in optimising the use of drones in the private and public sectors, enabling efficiency savings, improving their capabilities including the ability to carry out high risk activities in a safer way. The Programme will continue to explore solutions for safe, routine beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations across a range of application.

Our Mission
  • Vision – The programme aims to rapidly drive progress in drone technology and regulation over the next ten years, enabling industry and the public sector to fully exploit the market in areas such as geo-mapping, infrastructure inspections, surveying and logistics to both commercial and public-sector industries.
  • Strategy – The Pathfinder Programme will take a phased approach to achieving routine use of drones within the UK by exploring specifically how routine BVLOS operations could be enabled by overcoming the identified challenges.
  • Challenges – To ensure that the focus of the programme remains up to date, the list of challenges will be updated regularly based on actual industry engagement.
Featured Event
Join us for the Government Drone Pathfinder Community Webinar on 31st March 2020

The Government’s Pathfinder Programme is part of a wider programme of work across the UK’s public and private sectors, aimed at enabling integration of drones into UK airspace. At this event, you’ll hear updates on the programme from the DFT, BEIS, CAA and CPC, plus industry presentations.

Become a Pathfinder

Find out how your drone project can become a pathfinder.

Benefits of becoming a Pathfinder include the opportunity to inform Government roadmaps and policy as well as future regulatory constructs, the opportunity to learn from other Pathfinder projects and the Pathfinder Community at Pathfinder Community Days, and access to the CAA Innovation Hub services.

connected places catapult pathfinder programme; drones; UK government innovation; drone technology
The Pathfinder Community

Transport Infrastructure Construction: Sensat, Costain Group, IUK , The Connected Places Catapult

Energy Infrastructure: EIC, Callen-Lenz, Wales & West Utilities, Cadent, National Grid Transmission, Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, UK Power Networks, Callen-Lenz, Connected Places Catapult.

Geomapping: Ordnance Survey

Events & Webinars

Learn more about our Pathfinder Programmes at our events & webinars.

Projects & Case Studies

Explore the Pathfinder’s current projects & case studies.

News & Announcements

Discover the latest news & announcements about the Pathfinder programme.

Get in Touch

To find more about the Pathfinders or to get involved, please get in touch at drones@cp.catapult.org.uk

Drone Pathfinder; Connected Places Catapult; Innovation; Drone Technology

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