The linear infrastructure inspection beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) scenario features a drone flight to carry out a railway track inspection under BVLOS conditions within the Manchester Airport controlled zone (CTR). This scenario showcases a successful, safe drone flight following an effective flight planning and approval process and is designed to demonstrate air traffic control situational awareness, and de-confliction with other aircraft. We’ll also see how the platform can be used to define approval workflows that enable and assist BVLOS operations while providing the situational awareness to ATC of nearby drone operations and movements necessary to provide a safe operating environment.
There is an increasing need for drone to be flown beyond visual line of sight to inspect national infrastructure. Operation Zenith will present a BVLOS operation inside the Manchester Airport CTR and illustrate how organisations such as rail network operators can define workflows to assist BVLOS operations and provide ATC with relevant situational awareness of relevant unmanned air vehicle (UAV) activity near an airfield. We believe BVLOS capability is the key to unlocking the true value of drones – in this example, BVLOS operations could allow drones to inspect tens of miles of track, providing safety benefits, improving efficiency and reducing the need for an operator to send staff to trackside locations in person.