Don’t be alarmed if you see some unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) going about their business in the skies over Switzerland. While authorities in the U.S. and the rest of Europe try to reconcile safety issues with a growing demand to allow UAVs to fly in civil airspace, Switzerland already has been proving the concept.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association
To prioritize and promote unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the United Kingdom, the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVS) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see resources focused on accelerating the implementation of UAV systems and making UK industry globally competitive.
To many, the notion that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will one day fly alongside passenger airliners and other aircraft, in fair weather and foul, still seems like science fiction. Yet civil aviation authorities in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and elsewhere are now finalizing rules under which these operations will take place, possibly as soon as 2010.
Athena Technologies’ CEO Dr. David Vos is in no doubt that after many false starts, the age of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) really has dawned. His company has become the key element in most of the major UAV programs, including the U.S. Army’s Shadow and the USAF’s Target UAV.
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in civil, non-segregated airspace took another step forward early last month at the unmanned systems trade show at the ParcAberporth research and development center on the west coast of Wales when Thales UK and Elbit Systems of Israel demonstrated their Hermes 450. The flight was the first of a pilotless aircraft weighing more than 330 pounds in non-segregated UK airspace.
At least a dozen unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are to be flown at the Unmanned Systems show to be staged at the UK’s ParcAberporth aviation business park on September 7. The event will be Europe’s largest UAV flying demonstration in controlled civil airspace and should be an important benchmark for how pilotless aircraft can coexist safely with manned flights.
Testifying before the House aviation subcommittee on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), FAA associate administrator for aviation safety Nick Sabatini called UAVs “the next great step forward in the evolution of aviation.” But he warned they must have numerous redundancies in case of loss of link and system failures.
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