AOA Airport Operator Magazine | Winter 2022
Goodwood Aerodrome, once a Battle of Britain station, has hosted early safety trials for Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight drones.
Goodwood’s Aviation Innovation Centre, launched in 2018, aspires to be the UK’s best location for the development and demonstration of manned and unmanned aviation technology. The aerodrome’s Head of Aviation Operations and Goodwood Aero Club, Mark Gibb, said the aim is for Goodwood to be Europe’s leading UAV technology centre.
He said: “I see the UAV activity as a necessary area of diversity for the aviation business at Goodwood and we have chosen to encourage this type of activity. We were really keen to embrace drone technology rather than resist it because it is here, and it is going to stay, and we felt we would rather be leading than lagging”.
The 2021 trials involved the creation of a temporary piece of airspace around Goodwood, described in the jargon as “a temporary danger area”. Gibb said that although this is a standard phrase for such airspace it had alarmed some residents at first.
Similarly, there had been some initial scepticism among Goodwood’s flying community until they were assured that the early morning timing of the trials would ensure that there would be no disruption for the airfield’s long-term customers. He said that once they understood the aims of the trials many of them had felt “a little bit of pride that we were doing something here that no one else was doing”