New drone industry initiative UK Drone Delivery Group has released its white paper for public consultation.

The paper stresses the importance of developing new drone testing grounds.

UK Drone Delivery Group founder Robert Garbett said: “The release of this white paper for public consultation represents a major milestone for the UK drone industry. 

“The mass-participation drone testing programme that the white paper calls for will significantly transform the UK’s capability to achieve world-leadership in this industry. 

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“The recommendations in the white paper highlight the practical measures necessary to enable full economic development of drones, including the testing of competing solutions to make beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) flying possible.”   

Established in November 2018, the Drone Delivery Group is a non-profit industry initiative. It comprises more than 300 senior UK drone industry members and international observers. 

The group aims to present a UK industry-supported solution to BVLOS, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and unmanned aerial system traffic management (UTM) to the country’s Department for Transport, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Civil Aviation Authority. 

The completed paper is expected to be available for adoption by the end of this June after a three-month consultation and review period. 

Garbett added: “The potential benefits are staggering, but we need to act now. We are keen to identify new testing grounds to be used for take-off and landing, ideally including airports and airfields, but also forests, remote coastal areas and ports, through to residential areas and other dense urban environments.”

In October 2019, the UK Government introduced the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill to modernise airspace and address the illegal use of unmanned aircraft.