Industry group calls for more drone flight testing areas


The UK’s Drone Delivery Group has made an “urgent call to action” for property owners and influencers to provide testing areas for drones in the face of what it calls a potential “bottleneck to growth”.

The Drone Delivery Group is a collection of consulting and advisory companies founded by Robert Garbett in 2017 that aims to help accelerate commercialisation of the UK’s drone sector.

Garbett said, “There is an unnecessary bottleneck in the evolution of the drone industry which primarily lies in the lack of controlled testing locations to develop drone technology, to shape its standards, and ensure appropriate but non constricting regulations.

“Examples of desirable drone technology testing locations include not only large airports and aerodromes, 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.”

In November 2019, analysts at Barclays predicted that the commercial drone market could grow tenfold from US$4 billion in 2018 to US$40 billion in five years and create efficiency cost savings of some US $100bn.

Robert Garbett’s ‘call to action’ and expansion of Drone testing in the UK comes a few days before the House of Lords debates a Government bill on Monday 10 February to update the licensing regime for airspace use, together with greater police enforcement power to ensure safe and responsible use for drones.

Those with a potential drone testing site should contact the Drone Delivery Group here.

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About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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