Drone Delivery service provider, Skyports Ltd, seeks a volume of ‘airspace complex’ on Scotland’s west coast; the consultation period closes on 31 January

UK-based drone delivery service provider Skyports Limited is seeking a volume of ‘airspace complex’ on the west coast of Scotland in which to carry out UAS delivery operations. The consultation period for its Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) closes on 31 January

Skyports aims to help the UK Government and NHS in Scotland with the response to Covid-19, using delivery drones to transport medical supplies and samples (including dangerous goods) between a number of healthcare facilities. The project is being funded through a joint initiative by the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency. This area of operation is part of the larger UKSA/ESA funded project incorporating the area of operation to be facilitated ACP-2020-055, which is a separate ACP.

Pilot has been highly critical of the very short time allocated to the ACP consultation, and the way airspace consultations in general are routinely conducted by the applicant and not some independent body. In this case, Skyports has readily communicated with respondents and made modifications to its proposal in response to comments already received.

‘[The] feedback has been greatly appreciated,’ said Regulatory and Policy Associate Ricky Bhargava in an email to pilots, associations and other interested parties. ‘I wanted to also remind [those] who haven’t done so and wish to do so, to please provide feedback and comment on Skyports’ draft airspace designs for ACP-2020-099. The deadline for comments is midnight this Sunday, 31 January 2021.

‘We would really appreciate any and all feedback please. If, for any reason, you think you may require more time to complete your feedback, please let me know and we can arrange extensions on a case-by-case basis.’

Skyports is planning to transport Covid testing kits and biological samples in ADS-B IN/OUT equipped drones of 17kg maximum take-off weight that will cruise at sixty knots. The proposal entails operating these within segregated corridors, not above 400ft agl. Wrapping around the Isle of Mull, these corridors come close to Glenforsa Airfield, a popular destination for light aircraft.

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