British multinational telecom giant BT has invested £5m (roughly $6,030,000 USD) in Altitude Angel and its Project Skyway initiative to develop 165 miles of connecting airspace above Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry, and Rugby in Southern England. The proposed drone superhighway is supported by a consortium of businesses, and is currently working to a two-year timeline. If completed as planned, Skyway would be the largest and longest drone-delivery network on the planet.
Intro to Project Skyway
BT Group's part of the deal is to provide connectivity and network infrastructure that will allow Altitude Angel to develop its Arrow technology that detects and identifies drones, as well as allow UAVs to safely share airspace with crewed aircraft. In addition, BT Group Director of Drones Dave Pankhurst will sit on the board of Altitude Angel.
"Together, we bring unparalleled drone solutions to market, underpinned by digital innovation and our network strength, as we open the skies to solve genuine consumer and business needs," says Tom Guy, Managing Director of BT Group’s Etc hub. “At Etc, we support businesses like Altitude Angel, who have gamechanging ideas that benefit from BT Group’s scale and our agile approach to growth.
Altitude Angel's founder and chief executive, Richard Parker, adds, “With BT Group, Altitude Angel has a partner which shares its ambition to make automated commercial drone operations at scale in the U.K. a day-to-day reality. This will provide the U.K. with the first nationwide drone superhighways, unlocking the potential of this new and innovative technology and revolutionizing business operations in countless industries.”