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UK: the drone era takes off

Dozens of commercial projects under consideration by CAA

The UK is preparing to enter the era of commercial drones in common use. The path to be taken towards their widespread diffusion is still complex: it ranges from the regulatory level to the infrastructure, from resistance to the most adverse atmospheric conditions to flight safety beyond the vision of their pilots. For this reason, Great Britain has already started some experiments.

The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently certified the skills of six pilots who successfully completed various driving tests, at long distances and in different conditions, in areas where the same airspace was shared with other users of the sky. Tests had previously been carried out by temporarily closing parts of the airspace for up to three months.

At the moment there are dozens of projects being examined by CAA, which through them is accumulating knowledge on how drones work and can share the skies with other aircraft. There is medical transport between hospitals in a 2.4 km urban stretch around London Bridge; the delivery of packages and parcels in Cornwall to areas that are difficult for the post office to reach. It's a growing market and London doesn't want to miss the opportunity.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency