UK launches automated flight approval app, makes airspace more accessible to innovative aircraft

From 31 July 2023 drone operators, and in the future air taxi pilots, across the UK will be able to submit requests to fly in the controlled airspace of over 120 airports via the Drone Assist app and DroneSafetyMap which are connected to Altitude Angel’s Approval Services platform, says the company press release.

Airports already supported by Approval Services will be able to approve (or decline) the flight request digitally, in some cases giving the operator an almost instantaneous answer.  For those airports which aren’t connected to the digital platform and are still using analogue processes, Altitude Angel will facilitate the request on behalf of the operator by issuing the relevant airport a detailed summary of the planned UAS operation, via email, to ensure compliance with Article 94A of the Air Navigation Order 2016 so further co-ordination and approval can occur.  This provides the drone operator with a seamless experience at any airport, whereas today each can be different. 

Altitude Angel’s UTM Ready programme will classify airports in one of three categories depending on its ability to approve drone operations digitally, and also sets out a pathway for advancing airports from one level to the next.   

  • AUTM Ready airport will have full digital approvals available. These facilities have deployed compatible UTM services which enable Altitude Angel (or any 3rd party connected to it) to submit and receive full digital flight authorisations. If using Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM services, these airports can enable automation or deep integration with existing airport systems, including Counter-UAS. 
  • Those classified asBasic will have no digital approvals, but support electronic notification, typically via email.   
  • Legacy airports have no published electronic means of obtaining digital approvals. Instead, these facilities will typically only offer slow, or analogue means of seeking approval such as via fax, or a telephone call.

In May, Altitude Angel released several upgrades to Drone Assist which included a feature providing a direct connection to Altitude Angel’s UTM platform, offering ‘one-tap flight authorisations’ at connected airports and facilities worldwide. 

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere, said: “Aviation goes beyond the traditional modes of flying and is fast becoming a hub of revolutionary new methods of flight so it’s important that the UK is ready for the next generation of flight.  This platform will help make airspace more accessible for innovative aircraft, keeping track of those who want to fly in airport airspace and is a key step towards achieving the ambitious outcomes that we are setting through the Future of Flight Industry Group.” 

For more information on Approval Services visit here, and for UTM Ready visit here.

For more information visit:

Share this:
D-Fend advert. Click for website