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UK opens new drone and eVTOL test/training centre

A new drone testing and eVTOL training centre has opened in the UK.

The UK’s government’s Satellite Applications Catapult has opened its Drone Test and Development Centre (DTDC) facility at Westcott Venture Park in Buckinghamshire.

The site is a former RAF base and has a 270m runway, four dedicated landing pads for vertical, or vertical to horizontal take-off, and multiple flying areas offering real-world environments. Future plans for the site include development of Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) capabilities and pilot training.

Supporting the launch, SLiNK-TECH, a provider of automated take-off and landing systems for drones and air-taxis and Cambridge Sensoriis, a supplier of drone radar systems for automated landings, showcased future possibilities for the facility with a wider state-of-the-art drone technology demonstration, according to a press release.

“Planned research in three new dedicated hangars will include developing, testing and evolving equipment used for the safe, efficient and effective management of drone flights, as well as wider aviation and aerospace research, said the report. Hangar 1 is currently occupied by Skyports Drone Services which operates its flight ops HQ at Westcott.

Lucy Edge, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Satellite Applications Catapult, who opened the site, said: “Our first customer, Skyports Drone Services, is already working from its flight operations headquarters at the site and is sure to push the boundaries of what is possible to super charge growth at Westcott and beyond.”

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