Pilotless Drones Given Go Ahead for UK Testing

By Gary Cutlack on at

We may now once again all start pretending that drone deliveries will ever be a thing, as the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has approved a test that'll see a pilotless drone trusted to conduct its own little preset manifest, while around 50 miles away from its base of operations.

That's well outwith current rules that say a drone must be operated within the line of site of its allocated and educated pilot, so it's a huge step towards our skies looking rather like the future and being full of the things dropping off parcels on forthcoming Christmas Eves, should the shopper be prepared to pay the inevitable premium and, presumably, have a massive garden.

This comes via The Times, which says the trial covers the use of the machines to remotely inspect construction sites, using a DJI S900 drone to inspect work and scare people off from nicking stuff. If this goes well, commercial out-of-sight operations could then be approved in an update to the CAA's rules, opening the floodgates for all sorts of companies to pretend they will deliver items by drone, before finding another excuse for not doing so. You know, like range, weight, cost, vandalism etc. [The Times via Sky News]