Communities Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Drones and Tomorrow’s Airspace
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Drones and Tomorrow’s Airspace

Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as drones, are democratizing the sky and enabling new participants in aviation. Drones already have the ability to increase crop yields, make dangerous jobs safer and act as a lifeline for remote populations. Autonomously piloted systems have the potential to revolutionize how people and goods are transported and to support entirely new and disbursed economic society. 

Although drones have the potential to transform business models and tackle societal challenges around the globe, governments are struggling to find ways to encourage innovation while maintaining public safety and confidence. Large companies, as well as a growing start-up ecosystem, are hindered in their ability to invest and expand. Enabling millions of manned and unmanned aircraft to fly concurrently will also require new types of airspace management, physical infrastructure, and privacy and data ownership policies. Laying the right policy foundation and platforms for industry cooperation today, both through smart government regulation and industry-driven standards, will accelerate the adoption of new use cases and business models once the enabling technology and infrastructure is mature.

One of the most impactful use cases for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), is the transport of essential goods in a more rapid, efficient or less expensive manner than ground transport. Pilot projects led by the Drones and Tomorrow's Airspace Team, at the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, have already benefited the ecosystem of autonomous flight around the world. A first of its kind, Performances Based Regulation (PBR) was published in Rwanda testing the theory that be promoting a risk focused method to evaluating operations, new and important use cases can emerge. Learn more in our Advanced Drone Operations Toolkit: Accelerating the Drone Revolution.