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The UK’s first ‘Test and Development Area’ for 5G drones is unveiled in Liverpool

Drone Major Group.
(Image credit: Drone Major Group.)

Drone Major Group, a company specializing in the provision of drone equipment, training, and consultancy, has announced the launch of the first ‘Test and Development Area’ for 5G drones technology, which will be created in the Liverpool City Region. 

The project is to be delivered in partnership with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) and is expected to put the region on the path to become a global leader in the deployment of cutting-edge drone technology.   

The initiative, called ‘Phoenix I’, is the first in a series of interconnected projects developed by Drone Major Group, to deliver commercially viable, scalable and environmentally sustainable drone services. And according to Drone Major Group, 5G will dramatically change the way that operators and regulators view drone flights.

"5G may be the missing puzzle piece for regulators to alter their views on BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight) drone flights."

Drone Major Group.

“With current connectivity, flying a drone beyond the line of visual sight is highly regulated, as the lack of direct visual contact can be correlated to an increase in operator or hardware related accidents,” the company explained. “With strong connectivity and instantaneous communication between machine and operator, 5G may be the missing puzzle piece for regulators to alter their views on BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight) drone flights.”

Key stakeholders

Stakeholders in the new drone project include Peel Ports Group, LogisticsUK, SP Energy Networks, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. 

“Drones represent an unprecedented growth opportunity across a huge number of global industries."

Robert Garbett, Drone Major Group.

“Drones represent an unprecedented growth opportunity across a huge number of global industries,” said Robert Garbett, founder of Drone Major Group. “Liverpool City Region has clearly demonstrated its commendable intent to adopt a sustainable and commercially viable drone technology system for the City, ahead of the curve, which sets an example to all.”

The project will work alongside groups such as the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Autonomous Systems Technology (CAST), Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans (LISCO) and Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), and the drone research group at Liverpool John Moores University.  

“The Liverpool City Region is a digital powerhouse. We have the world class infrastructure, expertise and ambition to be leaders of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram. “It’s fantastic to see the Drone Major Group recognising that by choosing to open their test and development area here. 

“This project will deliver new jobs and investment and will attract people to our area not just to work but to study too, knowing that we are working on cutting edge and exciting projects such as this, as well as ambitious plans in everything from digital infrastructure and tidal power.” 

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.