Project Skyway is an ambitious plan to put Britain once again at the forefront of a transport revolution the likes of which it has not seen since the advent of the steam railway in the 18th century.
Then, short lengths of track sprang up around the country allowing steam-powered locomotives to take coal from northern mines or wool and cotton from mill towns to near-by docks to be shipped around the world. But within just a few years those independent miles of track were part of a railway network which spanned the nation, allowing goods and people to travel distances in times hitherto unheard of. This transport revolution and the efficiencies it brought was key in Britain showing itself as an industrial powerhouse on a global scale for the next century.
Two centuries on, Britain is on the point of another transport revolution. Drones have the potential to transport in a way our ancestors could never have imagined, but would have surely understood.
Just as trains reduced transport times from days to hours, drones will reduce them from hours to minutes; using energy from renewable sources. This will allow efficient and timely inspection of roads and railways, airport and port operators to review infrastructure without dangerous or costly closures, and provide 'lanes' which will enable delivery drones operated by the likes of DHL, Amazon, and FedEx.
And this is only the beginning. As the technology is proved through drone operations, more users and use cases will emerge. eVTOL vehicles, will be able to safely cross towns and cities whilst sharing the sky with other manned and unmanned aviation.
This revolution has begun with the Arrow Drone Zone (ADZ), under FF2 'Project Xcelerate,' and serves as an important proving ground, providing a route to CAA certification.
Using Arrow technology as its foundation -- allowing manned and unmanned aviation to share the sky harmoniously - Project Skyway envisages a nationwide network of ADZs spanning the length and breadth of Britain, a superhighway-network-in-the-sky, providing a critical digital infrastructure which will enable the world's first truly national, open and competitive drone economy.
The project's collaborative approach brings together like-minded, future-focused businesses and organisations which are leaders in their specialist fields -- from drone manufacturers, mobile and satellite connectivity providers to fleet operators, sensor manufacturers and airspace managers - to help realise the vision and deliver it to the consortia's first customers.