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Drones could be used for deliveries by 2020

An air traffic control company has been in talks to start utilising drones for deliveries.

Nats, and a start-up company Altitude Angel, are working together to create an automated UK drone-tracking system for commercial operators to fly a drone across a long distance.

The aim is to have the system up and running by 2019 and 2020 and their aim is to keep the lower-level air space, where drones would still be restricted, safe meaning it will prevent the drones crashing into each other as well as hitting passenger jets.

Andrew Sage of Nats told the BBC: "This technology will enable us to be able to create a single picture so we can see where everyone is intending to fly and where they are already flying.

"Altitude Angel has a lot of expertise in data management that we don't have within Nats... and we are deploying that technology so we can react more quickly."

Nats has already been in discussions with the drone industry and claims the trials could start in the UK by the end of this year.

The unmanned aircrafts would still be required to have the technology to allow their locations to be shared as well as sensors and software.

Amazon is just one of the companies which has already tested drone-based delivers and Dr Ravi Vaidyanathan, from Imperial College London, said the company could shift parts of their logistics operations off the road.

He said: "Drones flying beyond line of sight would be a very big deal - the scope of operations just changes dramatically.

"Goods deliveries would be one example of how it could be put to use, because products could be sent from a warehouse to a distant location.

"One could argue that if a drone has to be limited to being within line of sight, as at present, then it's probably easier to drop the package off yourself."

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