Consortiq Joins The Heathrow Fly2plan Project

For immediate release – 18 February 2021

LONDON, HEATHROW —  Today, drone service provider Consortiq can announce that on 1 Nov. it joined the Heathrow Airport led Fly2plan Project. Consortiq is one of several newer organisations working with established industry players such International Airlines Group (owners of British Airways), and NATS  (the UK’s Air Navigation Service Provider), along with representatives from academic institutions, and Air Traffic Management technology providers.

Fly2plan, an ambitious project under the Future Flight Programme, was formed to build a blockchain-based system for drone flight planning and integration with Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, whilst utilising existing developments in ATM, such as SWIM.

A better way to manage airspace

Fly2plan is attempting to shape the future of Air Traffic Management, by leveraging the benefits of new technologies such as Blockchain, to ensure the systems behind airspace can deal with the future demands that routine drone operations, parcel deliveries and flying taxis will place on it. 

Although Blockchain (a form of Distributed Ledger Technology) was built with financial transactions in mind. Other industries and use cases are being developed daily.  Its distributed model of trust and built-in data integrity provisions make it ideal to support the safety critical infrastructure of our skies.

Our role in the Future

Consortiq has a unique place in this project as the representatives of the End-Users, the drone operators and hardware manufacturers, and as one of only two organisations on the project that have experience in the drone industry. Engagement with both users and manufacturers will be critical to the success of the project, building a product that’s unusable by pilots & operators or requires too much of the hardware manufacturers will limit its viability from day one. 

With the Consortiq team’s background in Manned and Unmanned aviation, including Air Traffic Control Engineering, they understand the challenges integrating high volumes of drone flights will present and the importance of safety and security in our Air Traffic systems infrastructure. Consortiq believes that Blockchain is a potentially game-changing technology for these systems whilst meeting all the criteria that supporting infrastructure critical to Britain’s economy demand.

Consortiq’s Managing Director, Gareth Beverley said: “This project has the potential to kickstart the revolution of Air Traffic Management, and we’re proud to be part of it. Our driving passion is to find a better way for our customers to achieve their goals whether its powerline or runway inspections, or delivering thousands of packages a day, and a system that will help them plan and safely fly missions in any airspace safely certainly fits that bill.”

On Airport Operations

One of the benefits of working with a world renowned institution such as Heathrow Airport, is understanding how they see the progression of autonomous technologies inside the perimeter of the airport. 

Currently on-airport drone operations have to follow a cumbersome manual approval process, involving engagement with many stakeholders. 

The benefits of these operations are numerous whether it’s minimising the disruption to air traffic by conducting Foreign Object Debris (FOD) inspections, or reducing the time spent by crews during the survey of runways to inspect integrity, not to mention the time and cost savings that are possible in these applications. Drones can help to improve the quality of data too, and enable decisions to be made quicker and more proactively than normal. 

In the future many operators will want to conduct autonomous on-airport operations for either safety and security reasons, routine maintenance checks of assets, or transport from urban hubs with flying taxis. Fly2plan also enables those operations by creating a collaborative source of truth for on-airport deconfliction. 

Consortium Members

Consortiq is proud to be working alongside the following consortium members:

Altitude Angel, CiriumConsortiq , Cranfield UniversityDigital CatapultIAG, IBSInnovate UKNATSRockport Software, SITA, TEKTowr, and University of Oxford

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