Integration of manned and unmanned aircraft is essential in developing cohesive and efficient use of airspace. Long term use of temporary danger areas to segregate unmanned traffic is not efficient nor easily scalable.
Cranfield University has submitted an Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) to the CAA for a Temporary Danger (TDA) to enable safe development of BVLOS operational procedures and technology.
The low-level corridor extends almost 10 miles from Cranfield’s ATZ to the north east in Class G airspace. Careful design including close liaison and support from Cranfield Airport’s ATC enabled the corridor to be located underneath the Instrument approach to Runway 21.
This is to minimise the impact of the corridor on other airspace users and to enable safe and efficient coordination of UAVs and manned aircraft instrument approach traffic.
It is anticipated the corridor will be ready to for use over July to September 2021.
Cranfield University has also developed a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft known as ‘Swift’. It will be used from the summer of 2021 to carry a range of experimental navigational payloads and is ADS-B equipped to allow visibility to other airspace users and Air Traffic Control units.
Swift will also be used to help develop unmanned traffic management (UTM) capability in conjunction with Cranfield Universities new Digital Aviation Research Centre (DARTeC) together with Cranfield Airport’s Digital Air Traffic Control Tower.