Altitude Angel, a provider of unified traffic management (UTM) technology has received £5 million in backing from Etc., the incubation team of BT Group’s digital unit, to support the development of a drone superhighway in the UK.
The money will go towards accelerating the UTM technology provider’s roll-out of its ARROW technology, which detects and identifies drones to ensure that they can operate safely in the skies, both with other drones and alongside piloted aircraft already operating in UK airspace.
The development of this new 165-mile superhighway in the UK is part of Project Skyway, an initiative to bring rapid drone deliveries to several towns and cities in the UK. In July 2022, Project Skyway was announced as one of the 17 projects to receive a share of £73 million of UKRI funding. Partners on the project include private firms like Altitude Angel, as well as a number of UK county councils.
A 2022 report by PwC predicts that by 2030, more than 900,000 drones could be operating in the UK, contributing up to £45 billion to the nation’s economy.
Etc.’s Managing Director Tom Guy, said: “At Etc., we support businesses like Altitude Angel, who have game-changing ideas that benefit from BT Group’s scale and our agile approach to growth. This partnership is a natural extension to BT Group’s work building the leading network in the UK, supporting the UTM industry that sits adjacent to our core business.”
Richard Parker, founder and Chief Executive of Altitude Angel, said: “Combining our ARROW technology, which allows crewed and uncrewed aircraft to share the same skies, safely and securely, with BT Group’s significant communications infrastructure, we can quickly bring ARROW to the masses.”
He continues: “This will provide the UK with the first nationwide drone superhighways, unlocking the potential of this new and innovative technology and revolutionising business operations in countless industries.”