BVLOS corridor

Initial test flights have taken place at Cranfield, Bedfordshire, to establish a corridor for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) UAV operations, the first in commercial airspace in the UK.

The National Beyond Visual Line of Sight Experimentation Corridor (NBEC) is a collaboration between Cranfield University and Blue Bear Systems Research that aims to enable UAVs to fly in the same airspace as manned aircraft. A Blackstart small UAV supplied by Blue Bear undertook extended visual line of sight race track flights within the Cranfield Air Traffic Zone towards Blue Bear’s nearby facility at Oakley.

The NBEC partners say they believe: “The key to future drone operations is not segregation, but unification, ensuring fair and equitable use of airspace for all. NBEC will provide a safe, managed environment for drone and unmanned aircraft experimentation, which will work towards their integration into controlled and uncontrolled airspace.” Flights will continue at both ends of the NBEC corridor between Cranfield and Oakley this year.