UK’s first commercial drone corridor to open in Reading next summer

Image © Skynews / BT is leading a consortium developing the UK’s first drone corridor

SOURCE Skynews A consortium led by BT will develop the UK’s first commercial drone corridor in Reading next summer, using a five-mile (8km) flight path to experiment on the different uses for unmanned drones.

The experiment will see drones share open and unrestricted airspace with other commercial aircraft, including planes, while being operated beyond the pilots’ line of sight, something that is currently prohibited.

BT and partners, including Altitude Angel – a company that has developed an air traffic control system for unmanned drones – will support different projects contributing to the corridor test.

Officially known as Project XCelerate, the experiment will see flight trials “demonstrate key industry use cases across healthcare, emergency services and infrastructure to illustrate how drone deliveries and inspection can bring countless benefits to businesses, the public sector and UK citizens” said BT.

“As drone numbers continue to rise, there is an urgent need to safely integrate commercial drones into global airspace alongside manned aviation,” said Gerry McQuade, the chief executive of BT’s Enterprise unit.

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