Feb 19, 2018

Vodafone to test traffic control for drones over mobile network

Vodafone is to test the world's first air traffic control system for drones over a mobile network as the telecoms industry seeks to take a central role in developing a framework to integrate drones safely into international airspace. Preliminary trials in Seville last year showed that its 4G network could be used to control a 2kg drone. The proliferation of drones has caused a problem for aviation regulators, bringing safety concerns and the risk of inadvertent or criminal incursions around sensitive locations including airports and prisons, where drones have been used to deliver contraband. Companies such as Amazon are considering drones for deliveries and other services, presenting a challenge to traditional air traffic control systems, which cannot pick up small craft on radar systems. Some aviation regulators have argued that if the technology were proved at low levels, where the majority of leisure and commercial drones are expected initially to operate, it could eventually replace the traditional air traffic management system used for thousands of passenger and cargo flights every day.

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