NPAS leads on drone research

Tuesday 8 February 2022

The Home Office is funding the National Police Air Service (NPAS) to lead work to better understand the capabilities that Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVoLS) drones may provide to police aviation in the future.

On behalf of the police service nationally, NPAS is working collaboratively with forces to accelerate understanding on how to integrate alternative technology into future air support capability. This is predominantly in area searches for missing and vulnerable people, suspects, vehicles and property.

The project will not only consider drone types but also command and control and hazard detection systems, to ensure compliance with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulatory policies and procedures.

Other important considerations will include the potential value for money and environmental gains of drone use, plus a reduction in noise compared to traditional aircraft.

This is a complex and detailed piece of research work, involving significant regulatory implications, and is still in its very early, exploratory stages.

Many forces already deploy drones but their current capabilities are restrictive. This project is specifically looking at future technologies, giving necessary regard to compliance with strict CAA regulatory requirements.