The drone air traffic management platform aims to solve the problem facing global governments, on ho
Jamie Hardesty

Entrepreneur lands North East investment for drone platform to take flight

Entrepreneur Richard Parker has launched a platform providing air traffic control and automation services for drones in airspace across the world, following a six-figure funding boost by North East investors.

Altitude Angel, or The Internet of Flying Things, will reportedly solve the problem facing global governments - which air traffic services and even NASA have been working to find a solution to in recent years.

As a result of a £210k seed funding round facilitated by Newcastle-based law firm Watson Burton, Altitude Angel is now due to launch this month. Its solution solves the big two challenges facing consumer and commercial drone operators - how to integrate safely into a Nation’s airspace, and how to build commercial operations that rely on drone technology without having to develop complex backend systems themselves.

Using Altitude Angel, a drone manufacturer could easily ensure all the drones they sell are always up-to-date with flight restrictions and hazards as well as compliant with changing local laws, and would never collide with obstacles that Altitude Angel knows about, which includes manned aviation (such as low-flying helicopters) and no-fly zones.

Richard Parker explained: “If you imagine a system which knows the location of all drones, that has two-way communication, then you’re close to imagining what Altitude Angel can do for drone safety and commercial use.

“We not only take data from drones, but can communicate straight back to their operators and the drones themselves. By monitoring the position of those drones in relation to other ‘things’ such as manned aviation, ground or environmental hazards and even government flight restrictions such as no-fly zones, Altitude Angel can issue proactive advice to drone operators and as a last-resort, actually take control of compatible drones directly to minimise risk to people and property.

“Our software enables drone operators to fly without having to worry about changing airspace regulations or flying in areas they may not know are hazardous to their drone, while providing an easy and effective way to conduct essential ‘due diligence’ both before and during a flight, helping pilots become safer operators in the process.”

Paul Wigham, associate at Watson Burton, said: “It’s clear that drones are rapidly becoming part of our future, so we were very pleased to be involved in this high-profile, innovative project. Months ago Richard began working on a solution to a problem which many people didn’t know would ever exist.

“His foresight means that this traffic management system can be implemented just as drones are starting to become more popular, ensuring that their usage is controlled and remains safe.”

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