Constructing the sky highway

By UAS Magazine Staff | April 17, 2015

Following a major multicity tour including Las Vegas, London and Portland, the unmanned aircraft vehicle highway of the sky could be established. At least Skyward, the Portland-based UAS software firm formed by former Blackhawk pilot Jonathan Evans hopes so. Evans has already created a major place in the UAS industry through his team’s ability to help UAS operators with flight plans, insurance compliance checklists, asset management and other elements related to UAV flight.

The project, Urban Skyways, will “demonstrate that there will be a set of virtual highways in the sky. They will be geofenced corridors that designate the rules of the road to human beings and autopilots,” Evans said. “We are going to show how autopilot can interact with those and not go outside of those virtual lines.”

Drone deliveries, emergency response capabilities, infrastructure inspection and network coordination will all be part of the project dates in each city. Several major sUAV manufacturers have already signed on to participate. Flights and UAVs used will all be insured through Global Aerospace and in compliance with FAA regulations, according to Skywards. “We are going to demonstrate that there are safety optimized routes that mitigate risks and that there are safe ways to do this with the same standards of aviation safety we have all come accustomed to,” Evans said.