Drone flight testing site opens in the UK

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A commercial drone testing facility has been launched at Goodwood Aerodrome in Sussex, UK with segregated airspace for flight testing unmanned aerial systems .

The site is one of the first UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) testing sites to open in the UK which provides a segregated airspace for BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) operations.  A 9km radius circle around the aerodrome provides a 270 square kilometer range over a largely rural area for unmanned drone testing.

There are also off-aerodrome landing sites in controlled areas within the segregated airspace area to perform UAV delivery trials.

The Aviation Innovation Centre (AIC) provides air traffic management services, three grass runways, an on-site firefighting service and in-house security services. It is located within a controlled ground area within the aerodrome’s perimeter and has access to offices, meeting rooms, hangar space and event hosting facilities.

The centre also provides expert support to help customers with submissions, permissions and exemptions to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), such as preparing ConOps (concept of operations), operating safety cases and specific operational risk assessments. It has an on-site CAA certified Recognised Assessment Entity that can provide online and classroom-based pilot training and certification as well as specialist courses such as multi-crew co-ordination. Qualified remote pilots and observers are also avialable at the site.

Goodwood Aviation operations manager, Mark Gibb said, “Our aim is to be Europe’s leading UAV technology centre. Our range of facilities combined with the industry expertise of Across Safety offers the ideal solution for organisations’ developing, testing, trialing or showcasing unmanned aviation technologies.”

The (AIC) is being launched by Goodwood Aviation in partnership with operational safety management company Across Safety Development.

Anthony Venetz, managing director of Across Safety Development said, “The unmanned aviation industry is at a pivotal moment, with commercial unmanned aerial systems, urban air mobility, unmanned traffic management and counter drone systems all predicted to grow exponentially over the next few years.

“There is a clear need for a centre that supports technological and operational innovation without lengthy delays related to establishing safe airspace and ground areas. Goodwood, within easy reach of London and Gatwick is the perfect location to do that.”

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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