Volant Autonomy will lead a trial of drone technology to connect the Channel Islands.

Volant Autonomy, a technology company spin-off from the University of Bath, is leading a nine-partner consortium that has been awarded a £3.7m project to develop and integrate next-generation aviation systems to to improve island connectivity. The Agile Integrated Airspace System (ALIAS) project will see drones be used to test cutting-edge technology aimed at making the skies safer for all aviation and ultimately enabling autonomous unmanned aircraft to improve the supply chain. supply and connectivity with the UK and Europe.

The consortium will integrate state-of-the-art technology, including flight autonomy software, unmanned traffic management, SWaP sensing and secure communications, into a cohesive, agile and secure airspace system. The consortium includes Ports of Jersey, as operator of the island’s airport and ports, and works closely with Digital Jersey to access local knowledge and stakeholder connections on the island.

On behalf of Ports of Jersey, Airport Direct, Robin MacRae said: At Ports of Jersey, we are very pleased to be part of a consortium involving leading partners who are investigating such potentially game-changing technology. Two of our main strategic business objectives are to develop connectivity and to invest in the future of Jersey, and therefore ALIAS is the perfect fit for us. This is combined with the ability to be able to work closely with Digital Jersey, a perfect example of local entities working together for the benefit of the island. »

Digital Jersey CEO Tony Moretta said: “This is a great example of the attractiveness of the Sandbox Jersey offering as a test bed for this exciting technology. The infrastructure we offer and the ease with which we can connect Volant Autonomy to the facilities, regulators and services it needs make us the perfect place. As an island, we can also benefit immensely as end users. The project will see drone flight trials that will demonstrate the opportunities for us to use sustainable autonomous drones to help transport medical supplies, commercial cargo and perhaps ultimately passengers at some point in the future. »

Volant Autonomy CEO Dr. David Cleaver said: “My family is from the Isle of Wight, so I am fully aware of the unique set of challenges in terms of Island Connectivity. Project ALIAS will address this with a flexible and agile airspace system that enables safe drone operations for short-term logistics and air taxis for long-term personal mobility”

Consortium partners include: Volant Autonomy, TEKTowr, Sky-Drones Drone Defense, Ports of Jersey, Dronecloud, Skyports Drone Services, Cambridge Sensoriis, ANGOKA.

Kevin Lognone

Photo credit: DR

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