UK CAA approves expansion of drone test area in Snowdonia, Wales

Snowdonia Aerospace, the UK test centre for next-generation aerospace and future flight systems such as drones, urban and regional air mobility vehicles, electric aircraft, balloons, airships and near-space testing vehicles, has extended the flight area to include a new permanent Danger Area around Llanbedr Airfield. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval follows completion of a formal 24-month CAP1616 airspace change process.

The airspace provides a mix inshore, offshore, coastal lowland and mountain operational test environments and a corridor connecting to a further 7000 square km of additional airspace over Cardigan Bay for extended range, endurance, high altitude, and near-space testing.

None of the areas of the proposed DA areas will be permanently active and will only be activated by Notice to Aviators (NOTAV) when novel aerospace flying activities are scheduled to take place. Activation via NOTAV will be provided 24 hours in advance, the DA will only be active for the minimum time necessary, and Snowdonia Aerospace will provide a Flight Information Service (FIS) and Danger Area Activity Information Service (DAAIS). Airfield contact details will be included in the NOTAV.

Snowdonia Aerospace Centre is investing in an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system, is testing a micro detect-and-avoid (DAA) radar for small drones, and is developing beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone services to support communities across Wales under the UK Research & Innovation Future Flight Challenge.

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