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What next for commercial drone operations in the UK?

The Reed Smith team spent the morning at Onward discussing BT's report into the UK's readiness to embrace drone technology on a commercial level. It is clear, like with eVTOLs, that regulation remains a barrier to further development and the UK is lagging behind other markets. As the report says, developments in the next 12-18 months are crucial if the UK is to remain competitive.     

We have discussed in previous posts and as part of our Global air freight’s future – The sky is the limit campaign how the lessons the industry will learn from drone operations in respect of areas such as public policy and integration into the existing aviation ecosystem (both in the UK and internationally) will help develop the more complex AAM operations. It is therefore critical for all involved that the UK catches up with its competitors. 

The UK has a window that is as narrow as 12 months to set the regulations and guidance that will help the sector thrive. The study found that many advanced economies expect drone regulations to be in place by 2024–2025, a date that the UK must also meet to remain competitive in developing home-grown technology for domestic use and in export markets.


drones, evtol, aam, futureflight, transportation