British UAV-based start-up Altitude Angel has revealed that its in-house UTM system has identified a spike in the amount of drone flights taking place near UK airports.
GuardianUTM, Altitude Angel’s airspace operating system for drones, received 621 self-reported drone flights occurring within a 5km radius of UK airports.
UTM Exchange is a service which receives data from multiple apps, drones and companies, such as who is planning to fly their drone at a given location, and automatically shares that data with any other parties connected to the exchange whenever any two are found to be in conflict.
A spokesperson for the company stated: “As the number of drones continues to rise, we explore some of the data and propose a solution to help manage the up rise in drones as they operate closer to manned aviation than ever before.
About a year ago, we released a preview technology called ‘UTM Exchange’, now a core component in our GuardianUTM airspace management operating system, which itself acts as a ‘bridge’ between the emerging ‘UTM’ world and the world of ‘ATM’.”
During the technical preview, which required all users to opt-in to sharing their anonymous data, various stakeholders undertook the simple technical integration with UTM Exchange. These include app developers, software manufacturers and drone hardware designers.
Altitude Angel added: “In many instances, those airports are not aware of the nearby operation, as evidenced by the rise in requests for our data from airports. It highlights the need for the solutions we’re building to connect the drone world with the air traffic world.
“It’s worth noting, however, that in the vast majority of cases, people who are operating their drone within these 5 km boundaries aren’t doing anything illegal; in fact, a study of the flight report data indicates a high proportion of commercially-registered drone flights are occurring within these boundaries. Rather than preventing this type of drone use, as many are suggesting, airports could really benefit from the types of technologies we’re building to enable more operations of this nature to be supported.”