UK needs national drone strategy says landmark white paper

A landmark White Paper on the future of drone use in the UK has been submitted to the government as industry figures call for a national strategy across land, air and sea. 

The Drone Delivery Group is behind the paper which outlines, what it describes as, technology with the potential to ‘add billions’ to the UK economy by 2030 and expresses the need for a harmonisation of standards and regulations for different types of drones.

Chairman of the Senior Advisory Board for the group, Robert Garbett, said: ‘Drones have created a paradigm shift which requires an evolution in the way the UK regulates in this area to avoid stifling an opportunity for UK Plc which could force the majority of drone business overseas.  

‘We are calling on the UK Government to lay the foundations for our industry to flourish, and in so doing, lead the world in this remarkable technology. Today, we have set out a strategy, to develop a harmonised and coordinated approach to standards and regulations, across land, sea and air, in order to realise the benefit for generations to come.’ 

Founded in 2018, the DDG is made up of over 400 senior drone industry members in the UK and a number of ‘international observers’ with the aim of supporting the development of the industry and enabling safe and secure commercial drone flights in the UK through creating a solution to some of the biggest issues facing the sector. 

Last year the government approved plans for a ‘drone superhighway’ stretching across 165 miles of England’s airspace and serving as a dedicated corridor for surveying infrastructure set to be the world’s longest. 

Now the DDG says that will only be possible with joined up thinking across the various uses of drones, the Chief Executive Officer for the group, John Haffenden, said: ‘Our aim is to maximise the benefit of drones to society, to build a strong drone industry and to ensure the UK captures the obvious benefits this will bring to our economy.   

‘This paper tackles how better to harmonise our approach to regulations and standards across land, sea and air in preparation for the imminent arrival of digitally operated autonomous drones in all environments. Without a solid strategy, operational chaos, reduced safety and data security will be the result in what will continue to be a predominantly manned transport environment.’ 

The government has taken many steps recently in a bid to make the UK a world leader in tech, including the recent appointment of advisors to a project focussing on creating the next ‘Silicon Valley’ in the country.

Photo: Drone Delivery Group


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top