Professor Jim Scanlan of the University of Southampton participated in the meeting of the Science and Technology Committee and Defence Committee discussing the future of civilian drone use in the UK on Tuesday 11 June 2019.
CASCADE was joined by representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems UK, as well as industry representatives for drone manufacturing and UAV traffic management.
The discussion focused on the safety of commercial and recreational use of drones and the impact of the current and future regulation on the industry development opportunities.
Professor Scanlan: “It is very difficult to predict what the best regulations will be in the future, so my plea is to ensure that we support research and do more and more trials. My team was involved in Operation Zenith, and that was a fantastic step forward because we actually put the technology to the test. We are planning a very big trial in the Solent region for medical delivery. Zipline was talked about earlier. We are proposing a very big trial to prove the technology—to do a trial not for two or three days but for six months or more, to thoroughly understand a multiple of vehicles sharing the airspace, and the technology and tools required to make sure that that is undertaken safely. There is a third group of people here: researchers and experimentalists. It is about supporting them, and helping us to get fast response from people like the CAA, to allow us permission to, for instance, go into danger areas.”
The full transcript of the meeting is available on the House of Commons website at this address.
An extened version of the video of the meeting is available here.