Purpose of this change

This proposal is for an Airspace Trial, for which a scaled airspace change process applies and a change level is not applicable.

With approximately 26% of Scotland’s population living in remote or rural areas spread across 69% of the land mass, service delivery can encounter constraints which contributes to treatment inequity. NHS Scotland encompassing the Territorial Boards and Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) views the adoption of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones as an opportunity to transform the patient experience and reduce the impact of traffic congestion and CO2 emissions.

The project will deliver a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for the transition to fully integrated UAS operations at a national level. This specific workstream, led by NATS will develop and publish a phased approach outlining proposed airspace constructs and detailing regulatory and technology gaps required to enable the transition. Elements of this CONOPS will be validated through live flight operations, differentiating CAELUS from other projects by seeking to move the industry forward by proposing and validating a method of operations that are fully integrated and sustainable.

We aim to utilise volumes of segregated airspace across Scotland in a total of 5 locations to enable us to prove elements of our proposed future concept of integrated airspace. For this proposal, we intend to fly a route connecting Grampian – Shetland region and representing use cases for the North NHS Innovation board and Scottish Ambulance Service. The use cases demonstration will require segregated airspace to be in place for a maximum of 4 weeks to allow for an appropriate weather window with expected flying during 1 day within that timeframe. Our proposal is that we activate the segregated airspace for limited duration. The airspace dimensions and duration of activation will be informed by stakeholder feedback. This segment of flying will be undertaken by Dronamics using their Black Swan UAV. A system of ADS-B Receivers will be deployed to demonstrate an additional layer of situational awareness to the UAV pilot along the flying routes and contribute to the Detect and Avoid solutions that will form part of the demonstrations.


Step 1 : Assess Requirement

This step has been started

During the Assess Requirement Step, the change sponsor prepares a Statement of Need setting out what airspace issue it is seeking to address. Having reviewed the Statement of Need, the CAA meets with the change sponsor to agree whether an airspace change is a relevant option to consider, and to have a first discussion about the appropriate scale of the airspace change process.

CAA response to Step 1

The Assessment Meeting was held on 27th November 2023. The CAA agrees that the issues identified in the Statement of Need are appropriate for consideration under the Airspace Trial process

19/03/2024 - Following the publication of the revised CAP 1616 airspace change process, the UK Civil Aviation Authority has published the revised requirements and guidance for temporary and trial airspace change proposals, CAP 1616g. This ACP will continue to follow the process requirements as set out in CAP 1616 Version 4.


Documents for this proposal (5 documents)

N4 Stakeholder Engagement v1.0 (3.9MB PDF)

Step 1 - Engagement Evidence

Date added: 13 March 2024

ACP-2022-105 Assessment Meeting Presentation (3.1MB PDF)

Step 1 - Assessment Meeting Agenda

Date added: 21 December 2023

Timeline (188.1kB PDF)

Step 1 - Timeline Agreement

Date added: 21 December 2023

Updates Statement of need (182.7kB PDF)

Step 1 - Statement of Need

Date added: 21 December 2023

Statement of Need DAP1916 (175.2kB PDF)

Step 1 - Statement of Need

Date added: 11 January 2023


Potentially affected area

This is the area which may be affected by this airspace change depending on its development. This area may change as the proposal is developed.