What is Project Skyway?

Project Skyway is part of Innovate UK’s Future Flight Phase 3 programme. The Skyway consortium, working in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority, are working together 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.

Project Skyway is a 'drone superhighway,' which will connect major hubs in Reading, Oxford, Coventry, and Rugby.  The project intends to use drones to transport high-value and time-critical deliveries in a safe and efficient manner.  Project Skyway will benefit public and private medical organisations, emergency services, logistics companies, and road, rail, and major infrastructure providers alike.

Using the infrastructure and technology being set up in Project Skyway, users of the drone superhighway will be able to conduct their business (including the above mentioned infrastructure inspections, emergency service support and medical logistics) in a more optimised, safer and environmentally friendly way - saving time, money and lives.  In short, Project Skyway is set to transform the way we think about aviation and enable a new era of innovation and progress.

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 project skyway

Find out more...

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



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