Drone training for Cranfield Airport staff in anticipation of future integrated airspace
19 February 2020
Staff and students at Cranfield University and its Airport have completed a remote pilot course for flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of long-term planning for integrated airspace use by manned and unmanned aircraft.
The commercial UAV remote pilot course incorporated a ground school element for flight planning – covering principles of flight, rules and regulations of the air, using aviation charts, risk assessment and meteorology – and a flight assessment to check demonstration of basic pilot competence, including how to respond in an emergency and being able to operate safety features.
Rob Abbot, Director of Aviation Operations at Cranfield Airport, who completed the training with some of his team, said: “Integrating UAV operations with airport activities and manned aircraft operations is going to be key in the future as we look to unleash the potential of a modernised UK airspace. This training has given myself and my team a solid understanding of UAV operations and the issues around using unmanned aircraft.
“UAVs could potentially benefit manned aircraft operations in a number of ways, ranging from monitoring, maintenance and repair tasks to de-icing the wings of aircraft in cold weather conditions. At Cranfield, we are already looking at how we may be able to use them for runway and airfield perimeter inspections.”
The course was provided by Consortiq, who have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to provide approved UAV training, and was scheduled to help prepare students for the BAE UAV Swarm Challenge running again at Cranfield in March this year.
Students who complete the course will receive CAA-approved certificates for the ground school and flight assessment elements.
Alex Williamson, Experimental Research Fellow in UAV Operations in the Centre for Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems, Cranfield University, said: “Providing this kind of hands-on training is invaluable in giving staff and students an insight into the operational considerations of flying unmanned aircraft, together with a working appreciation of regulations affecting their use. This experience has further grown Cranfield’s competency in this area. It also ensures staff and students can maximise their research potential with respect to UAVs.”
Regulations currently require UAVs to be operated within visual line of sight of the remote pilot at all times. Through the ongoing creation of the National Beyond visual line of sight Experimentation Corridor (NBEC), Cranfield University is also working with partners Blue Bear Systems Research, Thales and Vodafone to provide a safe, managed environment for UAV experimentation, ultimately working towards their unsegregated operation with manned aircraft in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace.
L3’s new Airline Academy
site at Cranfield Airport
27 June 2019
L3 staff and cadets joined Cranfield staff this week to mark the opening of L3’s new Airline Academy site at Cranfield Airport. Training at the facility will begin on July 1 and by the end of 2019 the site will provide capacity for over 50 cadets on L3’s European training courses.
Cranfield at the
Paris International Air Show
17 June 2019
This week a team of academics from across Cranfield University will be exhibiting at the Paris International Air Show.
If you are attending the show please come and meet representatives from our Aerospace, Transport Systems and Environment and Agrifood themes who will be happy to talk about their work in areas such as aircraft electrification, digital aviation and environmental monitoring and mitigation.
Cranfield’s exhibition stand is located in Hall 2b at stand FG173.
At the air show, Cranfield will also be announcing plans for a major conference ‘Aviation and the Environment’ to be held at the University on 28-29 November 2019.
Cranfield announced as one of three preferred locations for relocation of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group
13 May 2019
Marshall of Cambridge has announced today that it intends to relocate Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) and that it has identified Cranfield as one of its three preferred locations.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield University, said: “These are early-stage discussions but we are excited about this potential development on the Cranfield Air Park and look forward to having future productive discussions with Marshall.
“Located at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, Cranfield has ambitious plans for our global research airport. These discussions with Marshalls are aligned with our approved Air Park and Masterplan planning applications.“This is an exciting time for Cranfield. Last year we were the first airport in the UK to install a digital air traffic control centre. We are currently developing the £67million Digital Aviation Research Technology Centre (DARTeC) which will help the UK unlock the potential of digital aviation.”
In its statement today, Marshall said:
“We will be progressing discussions with stakeholders for all three sites over the coming months and expect to be in a position to make an announcement sometime next year. This is a huge undertaking which will require careful planning and we anticipate that we will complete a move by 2030.”
L3 expands its UK flight training with a new site at Cranfield Airport
13 May 2019
New location to boost flight training capacity and support demand for L3’s Airline Academy cadet pilot programmes
L3 Commercial Aviation is expanding its UK Airline Academy operations with a new site at Cranfield Airport set to open in July 2019. The location will help to increase L3’s flight training capacity for cadets across its European training programmes.
“This investment will help to improve both the quality and capacity of our world-leading pilot training,” said Geoff van Klaveren, Vice President of L3 Airline Academy. “With its existing infrastructure, heritage in aviation and strong network with the industry, we believe that Cranfield represents an attractive location to expand our U.K. training capacity.”
“We welcome L3 to Cranfield University’s global research airport,” said Rob Abbott, Cranfield Airport’s Director of Aviation Operations. “We have an established track record of working with international companies to bring investment and employment to the region through world-class education and research. In L3, Cranfield Airport has a partner engaged not just in the basic principles of academy training, but with a clear strategy for pilots of the future.”By the end of 2019, L3 will operate more than 12 aircraft at Cranfield Airport, providing training capacity for more than 50 cadets. This represents another significant investment from L3 in the UK. By the end of the year, the site will have created over 27 dedicated permanent jobs within the local economy.
Cranfield University is the only university in Europe with its own airport and runway. Its students and researchers work with some of the world’s top aerospace companies on advanced technologies and innovations. L3’s presence on the site will provide opportunities for future collaborations with the university on next-generation products and technologies.