Westminster eForum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for developing the UK’s drone sector - innovation, safety and regulation, and latest on commercial and public sector applications

Morning, Tuesday, 15th September 2020

Online Conference


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine the future of the commercial drone market.

Areas for discussion include:

  • innovation and commercial use cases, such as delivery, logistics and infrastructure surveying
  • safety and risk mitigation
  • the regulatory framework and enforcement powers
  • airspace integration and traffic management
  • options for supporting the sector and increasing public trust in drones

The discussion in detail:

The market for drones and aerial robotics technology

  • use cases being developed and rolled out across industry and public services - and assessing areas where the sector can grow
  • advances in aerial robotics technology and their implications - including in batteries and motors, as well as control software and automation
  • making drone usage routine - including increasing the availability of qualified pilots, and developing and maturing leasing and hiring arrangements

Safety, airspace management, insurance and regulatory support

  • ensuring that policy and regulation keeps pace with more sophisticated use cases for drones, for example tackling the real-time risk mitigation and notification requirements to enable complex operations such as drone swarms and beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight
  • what more may be needed to enable routine drone flying in controlled and uncontrolled airspace, notification and clearance requirements, as well as creating equivalent risk mitigation to the ‘see-and-avoid’ procedure used by manned aircraft - in order to make possible advanced use cases such as the use of drones for logistics and parcel delivery
  • design and introduction of Electronic Conspicuity standards for commercial drones, and further potential measures to mitigate risk
  • insurance products for the drone industry - design and marketing, quantifying risk, and the potential for pay-as-you-fly

Regulation and enforcement powers

  • impact of measures in the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill including greater enforcement powers for police forces in tackling negligent or malicious drone flying
  • next steps for policymakers in countering illegal drone flying and the misuse of drones in the context of the Government’s Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy

Trust and sector support

  • what more is needed from policymakers and regulators to support research and development into drone technologies in the UK
  • increasing trust in drones and the sector and counteracting negative public perceptions - including the way forward for increased engagement by the sector with public, regulators and policymakers

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

The agenda:

  • The future of commercial drone operations - latest developments in materials and technology, and current and future use cases for unmanned aircraft
  • Next steps for developing regulatory frameworks for unmanned air operations in the UK - ensuring safety and enabling innovation
  • Achieving the safe integration of drone operations in UK airspace
  • Assessing and mitigating the key risks associated with drones and developing public trust - security, privacy and insurance
  • Priorities for policy in the regulation of unmanned aircraft in the UK - key aims of the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Case study: utilising the capability of drones in law enforcement and police operations

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by officials from BEIS; the Department for Transport; the Home Office; the Ministry of Defence; HM Treasury; DCMS; the Defence Airspace and Air Traffic Management; the Military Aviation Authority Defence Safety Agency; the Department for International Trade; the European Space Agency; the Department of Health and Social Care; the Geospatial Commission; the Government Legal Profession; the Health and Safety Executive; Marine Scotland and the Welsh Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Chief Inspector Simon Bachelor

Legislation and Policy Lead, Counter Drones, National Police Chiefs’ Council

Keynote Speakers

Sophie-Louise O’Sullivan

Head, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Civil Aviation Authority

Dr Eamonn Beirne

Head, Emerging Aviation Technologies, Department for Transport

Senior speaker confirmed from NATS

Chief Inspector Simon Bachelor

Legislation and Policy Lead, Counter Drones, National Police Chiefs’ Council


The Rt Hon. the Lord Wallace of Tankerness

Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones


Sam Golden

Sales and Marketing Lead, Flock Cover

Kumardev Chatterjee

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Unmanned Life

Jack Wrangham

Founder and Director, Drone AG

Rikke Carmichael

Head of Air Operations, Network Rail

Dr Mirko Kovac

Director, Aerial Robotics Laboratory, Imperial College London

Anne-Lise Scaillierez

Director, ARPAS-UK and Partner, The Drone Office

Richard Gill

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Drone Defence

Simon Phippard

Of Counsel, Aviation and Aerospace Practice, Bird & Bird

Joe Taylor

Strategic Advisory, Infrastructure Advisory Group, KPMG

Robert Garbett

Chief Executive Officer, Drone Major Group