Past projects

Past Future Flight Challenge Projects

Past Future Flight Challenge Projects

Past Future Flight Challenge projects that have brought us closer to realising a new, integrated era of aviation include:

  • Project West of England explored how drones and air taxi operations could be integrated into an airport environment, for example, how understanding the surrounding airspace can enable the creation of vertiports to support eVTOL operations. This project laid the groundwork for the current AMEC initiative.
  • Project DBAS, led by SEES-AI, created and tested a system that allowed uncrewed aircraft to fly beyond the operator’s direct line of sight. As part of this project, NATS identified the requirements around operational services necessary for the creation of a ‘master control room’ to assist operators, and incorporated electronic conspicuity on aircraft to guarantee safety of all airspace users. This master control room concept has been developed further as a feature of current AMEC simulations and flight demonstrations.
  • Project Fly 2 Plan, led by Heathrow Airport, demonstrated how a master data-sharing platform could be used to enable drone users to file a flight plan and share this with an airspace operator, including carrying out checks to ensure appropriate qualification of operators. This project has led to new technology solutions that support essential sharing of data that is required for safe and efficient air traffic management.
  • Project Shimano, led by Malloy Aeronautics, explored how a novel radio beacon system could be deployed to aid autonomous vehicle navigation. This use-case helped to identify the appropriate changes required to support full integration of existing air traffic with uncrewed operations.

These collaborative project findings continue to inform future regulations, creation of appropriate infrastructure and development of technology solutions that will move us further along our roadmap to achieving safe integration of new airspace users in the UK.

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