What is Skyway?


Project Skyway is part of Innovate UK’s Future Flight Challenge Programme. The Skyway consortium are working together in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority to revolutionise the world of aviation by enabling drones to travel Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) - extending the distance they can travel, a factor that is currently limiting their full potential. Once drones can travel long distances safely alongside other sky users they can be more readily used for emergency response, search and rescue, the transportation of organs and medical supplies, conducting safer, more efficient surveys – amongst many other beneficial uses.

eading the project’s consortium, which includes BT, Altitude Angel is building 165 miles (265km) of ‘drone superhighways’ connecting airspace above major cities through the south of the UK. The Skyway superhighway network, enabled using Altitude Angel’s patented ARROW technology, will unlock the huge potential offered by unmanned aerial vehicles and be a catalyst to enable growth in the urban air mobility industry. 


The superhighway ensures drones or UAVs are not required to carry specific onboard sensors to ‘see’ other aerial traffic: instead, it brings together higher-power, better sensors from multiple manufacturers, on the ground, along a sensor network, which in turn is then processed in real-time to provide guidance.  


This means drones and UAVs don’t need to compromise payload, range or efficiency and can ‘tap into’ even higher resolution data, from multiple sensors, from the ground-based network. For operators who opt in, the platform delivered automated flight, at scale, in unsegregated airspace at an inclusive, not exclusive, price-point.  


Drones flying in a city carrying medical supplies


How does it work?

Altitude Angel's ARROW technology enables the detection of aircraft flying along the route.  By deploying a combination of RF Sensors (radio frequency) and cameras on both new towers and existing infrastructure, a situational awareness picture (the ability to ‘see’ where an aircraft is in the sky) is provided to drone operators using the 'superhighway'.

Thanks to ARROW, Drones can enter the 'superhighway' and be seamlessly deconflicted with all other aviation.  What's more, drones using the superhighway are not required to carry any additional hardware.  Instead, all aircraft are 'seen' through the combination of sensors and Altitude Angel's overarching Unified Traffic Management (UTM) platform.

The ARROW technology is agnostic and open to all, providing a reliable service that is not reliant on the compliance of any particular system. With ARROW, Altitude Angel is leading the way in creating a more efficient and safe aviation system, where drones can operate alongside traditional aircraft with ease.

ARROW maintains personal privacy and security.  All sensors are facing towards the sky, ensuring the system is not used for surveillance purposes, and individuals' privacy is safeguarded.  ARROW's innovative technology is creating a safer and more secure environment for all aviation users while respecting the privacy of individuals.

Read our launch article


Diagram explaining how a conflicting flight detection would work within the highway


When is this all happening?

The sensor system deployments are underway. The first trial flights are scheduled to begin in July 2023 using operators existing permissions. This means drone operators will be using agreements they already have in place with the Civil Aviation Authority.  During this initial phase, a trained operator will oversee all flights in a command centre to ensure a seamless and safe transition.

As the project progresses, by the end of 2023, all data and recommendations will be submitted for review by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This comprehensive review process will ensure that all feedback from consultation with relevant stakeholders and the necessary safety protocols are integrated into the 'superhighway' before the end of the project in July 2024.

Route for skyway

Find out more...

Watch our launch video below, browse our FAQ's, and discover the members of the Skyway Consortium. 

The project has been featured in a number of news articles which you can read below:

BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, The Telegraph.


Read more about Skyway and our drone ‘superhighways’ on our solutions overview page.


Project Skyway Explained: The Skyway Drone Superhighway:




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