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New plan to accelerate growth of UK drone industry

Posted on 17th April 2020 at 11:56am

The UK Drone Delivery Group will soon embark on a series of pioneering projects to test the capabilities of drones across a range of sectors including parcel delivery for medicines and other supplies – including agriculture and the emergency services. 

The economic impact of drone technology is expected to be massive. In November 2019, Barclays predicted that the commercial drone market could grow tenfold, from $4billion in 2018 to $40 billion by 2023, and it could create cost savings of $100 billion. Image: yupiramos/123rf

The not-for-profit group has issued a White Paper calling for the development of new testing grounds. The aim is to transform the UK’s potential to achieve world-leading status in the fast-moving drone industry.

Robert Garbett, founder of the UK Drone Delivery Group, says its White Paper’s recommendations: “Highlight the practical measures necessary to enable full economic development of drones, including the testing of competing solutions to make Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flying possible.”   

Garbett adds: “Facilitating a world leading UK commercial drone industry will bring immense benefits to UK plc, driving innovation, wealth creation and employment opportunities right across the economy. The pace of drone technology development around the world is accelerating, and the UK, if it moves quickly, can reap the full benefits of this technology, not just in the air, but also from drones developed to operate on land or water, underwater or in space. 

“The potential benefits are staggering, but we need to act now. We are keen to identify new testing grounds to be used for take-off and landing, ideally including airports and airfields, but also forests, remote coastal areas and ports, through to residential areas and other dense urban environments. 

“Industry is looking now to the Government to get behind this initiative, working with both public and private sector drone users to help create a world-beating UK industry that could play a huge role in underpinning our future economic prosperity,” he confirms.

Following the consultation, it is anticipated that the completed White Paper will be ready for adoption by the end of June 2020. The draft White Paper can be found here together with a form for comments. Feedback is requested by May 31, 2020.    

Anyone interested in this drone testing ground initiative should click here

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