The ParcAberporth Unmanned Air Vehicle Centre in west Wales is in talks with the UK Civil Aviation Authority about the potential opening up of designated overland air corridors east of the facility to allow UAV transit flights to nearby Ministry of Defence weapons ranges and exercise areas.

The talks are aimed at increasing opportunities for ParcAberporth to support development of military UAV systems, says Sue Wolfe, strategy and technology manager for the Welsh Assembly government.

Civil applications will remain the overall focus for ParcAberporth, she says, but the talks will also cover options for opening up overland flying areas to augment existing airspace. "We have the opportunity in Cardigan Bay to work over sea, but we are in a good position in terms of topography and the actual airspace usage to be able to put something in for civil operators that want to do some trials over land," she says.

The talks with the CAA are focusing on "what is opportune to fit, in a sensible way, within the airspace", Wolfe says.

Source: Flight International