Integrating new airspace users: Delivering access to all

Integrating new airspace users: Delivering access to all

The aviation landscape is on the verge of a huge transformation, with the emergence of new airspace users set to reshape the way we fly, the way we order goods and the way we receive healthcare services.

New and innovative aeronautical technologies like electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, commonly referred to as ‘electric air taxis’, and drones flown beyond visual line of sight, could soon become an integral part of our skies. These technologies have the potential to revolutionise the emergency services, business, and personal transportation in a way we’ve not seen for over a hundred years.

But realising that future is not without its challenges and will demand a whole new way of managing our airspace.

At NATS, our focus is on ensuring the UK’s already busy skies are safe and accessible for everyone, with new airspace users one day safely and seamlessly operating alongside conventional crewed aircraft.

Integration is at the heart of this vision, which is why our efforts have been focused on developing new air traffic management infrastructure, services and techniques that will ensure everyone can access the airspace they need, when they need it.

Earlier this year the BVLOS forum published the ‘South of the Clouds’ whitepaper, which demonstrated the strength we have as an industry working together.

However, the barriers to achieving airspace integration are still too high.

We’re excited to be sponsoring the keynote stage at the DroneX conference and trade show next week, where we’ll be unveiling our vision for lowering those barriers and creating an airspace for everyone who wants to fly any type of aircraft – including those with no pilot onboard.

We hope you can join us on 26th & 27th September at London’s EXCEL centre for what I’m sure will be an exciting event.

In the meantime, over the course of the next week, we’ll be sharing a selection of stories highlighting some of the fantastic work that new airspace users have been doing right across the industry, and the potential they have to go even further.

From delivering chemotherapy drugs to remote communities, to pioneering the use of electric engines, this is the leading edge of aviation development, and we want to play our part in making it happen.