The UK’s air navigation service provider NATS and UTM company Altitude Angel have announced a strategic partnership to develop unmanned traffic management solutions that can be integrated and interact with conventional air traffic control.
According to the two companies: “The partnership between NATS and Altitude Angel will drive the integration of drone flight and operational data with information and systems involved in managing manned aviation. Merging the two information streams will increase situational awareness amongst all legitimate airspace users and provide the digital foundations necessary to allow air traffic controllers to engage with drone operators. This partnership lays the foundation for a future whereby access to lower level airspace could increasingly be granted digitally. It links knowledge of an operator’s aircraft, qualifications and mission, pioneering a new form of airspace management suited to the changing use of our skies.”
NATS and Altitude Angel will build on their partnership launching the UK’s leading drone safety app, Drone Assist, which provides guidance on where it is safe to fly and allows users to submit flight plans so that drone flights can be seen by other aviation stakeholders.
Drone Assist connects into Altitude Angel’s global UTM platform, GuardianUTM, which already receives voluntary flight plans for around 5,000 drone flights per month in the UK and delivers safety data to around 50,000 active monthly registered drone pilots.
The GuardianUTM platform ensures data accuracy, relevance and provides Drone Assist with a real-time connection to aviation systems.
With forthcoming changes to European legislation just around the corner, Altitude Angel’s technology platform will automatically ensure compliance with U-Space programme requirements so that UK drone pilots can always feel safe in the knowledge they are flying with the best data to help them do more with their drones.
(Image: Richard Parker, Founder and CEO of Altitude Angel and Andy Sage, NATS Head of Drones)