UK Drone Delivery Group calls for more testing airspace

Founder of the UK Drone Delivery Group Robert Garbett has urged business leaders and UK property owners to use their under-used land for drone testing to accelerate the rate of growth of the UK drone industry. He describes the lack of testing areas as a ‘bottleneck to growth’.

The UK Drone Delivery Group is the first industry initiative to provide guidance on the steps required to enable accelerated commercialisation of the UK Drone Industry. Garbett stated: “There is a current unnecessary ‘bottleneck’ in the evolution of the drone industry and this primarily lies in the lack of controlled testing locations which can provide trial areas and safe environments to accelerate the development of drone technology, help to shape its standards, and ensure appropriate but non constricting regulations”.

He added: “The British Government has played a constructive role to date and the UK is a world leader in drone technology… but to stay ahead in this fast moving game, then business, local authorities, police, fire & rescue services and even members of the public, must work together in a partnership of participation and cooperation.

“Examples of desirable drone technology testing locations include not only large airports and aerodromes that may already be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority, but also forests, remote coastal areas and ports, through to residential areas and other dense urban environments.  Testing will need to include everything from simple potential drone tasks such as parcel delivery, to much more complex applications such as smart motorway monitoring, law enforcement rapid response and search and rescue.”

“The opportunity for the commercial drone market is vast, but with such a fast-growing emerging technology we have to ensure we act quickly, lest our ambitious international competitors overtake our lead. My ‘call to action’ is to say that I’d like to hear from those who feel they can contribute to this aspect of this exciting fast growth industry, which is expected to be of vital future importance to UK plc,” Garbett concluded.