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Project XCelerate

We’re leading efforts to establish the UK’s first commercial drone zone with Project XCelerate, showcasing use cases from healthcare to emergency services. 

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We’re building the UK’s first commercial drone zone

We’re leading efforts to establish the UK’s first commercial drone zone. Project XCelerate will seek to overcome the challenge of flying drones beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS). Making the skies safe for fully autonomous drones to fly in unrestricted airspace.

This summer, we’ll carry out flight trials in the 8km-long drone zone, located south of Reading, Berkshire. Together with Unified Traffic Management (UTM) technology provider Altitude Angel, and a number of UK tech start-ups, we'll show how healthcare, emergency services and businesses can make the most of the drone zone. 

Our research will also provide a framework for towns, cities and other organisations to follow. So they can safely open up their skies, creating new opportunities for the future of drone flight.

This project is supported by the Future Flight Challenge Fund, which is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

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“As part of Project XCelerate, we're proud to bring together world-leading drone expertise and our secure and resilient network connectivity to launch the UK’s first commercial drone zone and show how drones can deliver improved, life-saving services to the public. ”

Dave Pankhurst

Head of Drone Solutions


Here’s how Project XCelerate is rising to the challenge

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Search and rescue

We’ll explore how drone technology can speed up response times for emergency incidents, improving the chances of survival for injured and missing persons. While also reducing costs and driving efficiencies for the emergency services.

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Medical delivery

We’ll demonstrate how automated drones can speed up the delivery of urgently-needed medical supplies, helping the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors to improve patient care.


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Infrastructure inspection

We’ll show how drones can be used to help assess damage and maintenance needs for critical national infrastructure, such as power lines, railway tracks and cell towers.

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Future Flight

Project XCelerate is part of a Future Flight Challenge Fund, backed by the Government’s Industrial Strategy. We’re bringing together a number of UK tech start-ups to establish the UK’s first commercial drone zone.

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Future of Flight whitepaper

The public have some key concerns that will need to be addressed but 68% believe that drones will have a positive impact on their life in the future.  Discover the attitudes of the public towards the increasing  use of drone technology in the UK.

Meet our Project XCelerate expert partners