Drone operator Flylogix reports successful completion of an open airspace test flight project in partnership with NATS and energy supplier Total. The project is part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) innovation sandbox. Working with the regulators and partners, Flylogix have successfully developed and demonstrated a concept of operations that enables the operation of unmanned air systems (UAS) in open airspace throughout the North Sea.
The project, which completed this month, marks a significant development towards UAS operating more widely in open airspace. The test flights have effectively demonstrated key capabilities that include UAS surveillance and electronic conspicuity (EC), the ability of the UAS to follow tactical commands from air traffic controllers, and the ability of the UAS and remote pilot to respond to a variety of emergencies.
The project is part-funded by the OGTC and is part of Flylogix’s vision of transforming remote operations through the deployment of routine beyond visual line of sight services. The success of this project is key to unlocking the true value of unmanned services throughout the North Sea, and will bring huge environmental, safety and cost benefits to the energy sector.
Charles Tavner, Executive Chairman at Flylogix, said: “These flights will advance the industry’s demand to safely operate unmanned aircraft in open airspace and take us closer to our vision of transforming remote operations and realising significant environmental, economic and safety benefits.
Mark Watson, Head of UTM Service Integration at NATS said: “The success of the test flights has demonstrated what can be achieved by air traffic services, operators and regulators working together and using existing procedures and technology to unlock the integration of unmanned systems into the wider aviation community”
Kris Kydd, Robotics Leader at Total said: “Total have real requirements for this pioneering technology in support of our offshore assets, and are now in a place where we want to deploy its capabilities to reduce risks and costs across the business – this work is critical to unlocking that value.”
Frederic Laugere, Innovation Services Lead at CAA said: “This project is demonstrating the benefits of regulators and operators working together. Together, we are accelerating learnings that are critical to enable BVLOS operations in non-segregated airspace and move the industry forward.”
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