SkyGuardian RPAS flies first integrated, unsegregated flight in UK airspace

A SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems flew a fully integrated, unsegregated, A to B domestic flight along a UK airways route structure for the first time on Sunday 12 September. The seamless flight was safely integrated with other air traffic flying through the skies over the United Kingdom, all receiving an air traffic service from NATS, before touching down at RAF Lossiemouth a couple of hours later.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority GA & RPAS unit carried out months of risk, technical and airworthiness analysis to issue an operational authorisation to General Atomics to permit flight in the UK. A large and complex Airspace Coordination Notice was completed for the SkyGuardian’s flying activities. SkyGuardian completed a transatlantic flight in 2018, and flew for first time in UK airspace on 25 August 2021. On 27 August 2021, SkyGuardian flew the UK’s first unsegregated flight in Class G airspace, utilising its onboard situational awareness tool, the Air to Air Radar system, known as ATAR, to Detect and Avoid any uncooperative air traffic.

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