UV Europe flying demonstration postponed
Organisers of Shephard’s UV Europe event have taken the difficult decision to postpone the planned UAV flying demonstration at West Wales Airport in July until next year’s event in 2010.
Originally, there were plans to fly six systems at West Wales Airport, but a decision was made to delay after one UAV withdrew when required for operational service in Europe, while two other systems were unlikely to receive the required Frequency clearance from OFCOM in time.
Spokesman Mike Wild said: “Whilst the postponement of the flying display is a disappointment for visitors to this year’s UV Europe, it will be of a long-term benefit and will allow industry to prepare fully for the 2010 event, where the newly enhanced West Wales Airport with its extended and widened runway will facilitate the handling of a wider range of unmanned systems.”
The last 12 months has seen the busiest period in West Wales Airport’s history. The runway has been extended and widened and is now 1199m x 30m. At the same time all of the special facilities for the Watchkeeper project have been completed and are now ready for the arrival of the first systems as part of the Watchkeeper T&E and release to service programme.
Delays to current operational programmes have meant that a number of larger systems which had shown initial interest in participating at the West Wales Airport flying display have had to postpone their interest to 2010, when the prognosis is there will be more time to plan and participate in the demonstration.
Ray Mann, Managing Director of West Wales Airport said, “It was important that we built on the high quality of presentation and accommodation that was developed during the PAUS events of previous years. Unfortunately matters conspired to make this goal impossible. Therefore, work will start immediately with all levels of the industry to prepare for a major event next year.”
Shephard and West Wales Airport, the organisers of UV Europe and the attendant flying demonstration are confident that the decision to carry over the flying demonstration to 2010 will result in the largest demonstration of unmanned system capability flying ever witnessed in Europe and look forward to assisting industry in achieve that aim.
The UV Europe Conference at the Celtic Manor Hotel, Newport is unaffected by the postponement of the flying demonstration.
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