The Programme

A hub
for developing drone technology

Located in Montrose, Angus, the first Mercury Drone Port will be situated within the new Zero Four business park being developed by Crown Estate Scotland.

Operating both for on and offshore partners, a consortium of industry experts are working together to trial potential flight routes to encourage the uptake of sustainable, clean-growth, low-carbon drone operations.

Mercury Drone Ports will be established by a number of phases, initially creating a trials airspace area for route validation, preparing the way for the UK’s first regular Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations. Finally, establishing Angus as a Centre of Excellence for the development of drone technology for companies to conduct research and develop commercial drone operations.

BVLOS Demonstration

The first phase of the programme commences in 2022 and will set up temporary drone demonstration delivery routes across Angus to validate important healthcare, resilience and lifeline use cases, both on and offshore, whist establishing a supportive stakeholder community across the region through direct engagement.

Transponder Mandatory Zones (TMZ) Trial Airspace

The second phase will create a regional scale trials area, both on and offshore, which can be used to enable drone operations. It also includes the creation of supporting temporary infrastructure and facilities at Drone Port Montrose and across the region.

Montrose Port

Permanent Airspace Trials and Operations

The third phase marks the start of enduring trials and operations in a permanent airspace structure. Having proven the viability of drones, this phase will provide the certainty for companies to make significant investments in the region and allow the temporary facilities to be upgraded to more permanent structures.

Centre of Excellence

The final phase will involve the creation of a Centre of Excellence for the development of drone technologies, placing Angus at the centre of the UK’s drone industry by formalising partnerships with drone operators, industry end users, academia, and government partners.

Developing a sustainable, greener future

Mercury Drone Ports will support the adoption of safer, sustainable, green and more cost-effective alternatives to both commercial and public sector activities through drone operations.

By creating a world-leading drone trials facility, Mercury Drone Ports will create interest, investment and job opportunities for drone operators, technology developers and manufacturers, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), data management and software development companies. The potential for investment and boost to employment in the region is extensive and could bring high-quality roles across a variety of disciplines and sectors.

Mercury Drone Ports will play a vital role in the development of the wider regulatory environment surrounding the use of autonomous drones, ownership, use of low-level airspace and the management of stakeholder expectations in areas such as noise, privacy and public safety.

Initially, the primary focus will be on the development of drone-based technologies and their application within the environments and industries found on and offshore Angus. Operations are likely to include deliveries, long-range inspection/survey missions and autonomous asset surveillance for the following industries:

  • Ports and Maritime
  • Agriculture
  • Rural public services
  • Offshore wind
  • Offshore oil and gas

Get in touch

We’re looking for project supporters and collaborators locally, nationally and from around the world to join us and help make Angus a Centre of Excellence for the Development of Drone Technology.

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