Snowdonia Aerospace Airspace Change Proposal – Drones Information


Snowdonia Aerospace today launched a public consultation on a proposed change to the airspace designation around Llanbedr airfield, which is open to all. The consultation begins on Monday 7 December 2020 and lasts 7 weeks before ending on Friday 22 January 2021.

The Snowdonia Aerospace Center (SAC) is a UK center of excellence for testing next generation aircraft such as drones forever, electric aircraft, urban and regional air mobility vehicles, high altitude balloons, airships and space testing vehicles. The proposed change to the airspace is intended to create a permanent hazard zone that will allow SAC to develop the site and encourage innovation in the UK aerospace sector, particularly in these emerging technology markets. It is not associated with military training.

With regard to its designation, the danger area is permanent, but only “active” when required, otherwise it remains open to all air traffic. Ninety percent of operations in the danger zone are carried out over the airfield or over the sea. The proposal is part of a sustainable long-term master plan for Llanbedr Airfield which, when fully developed, could add up to 515 jobs and £ 19.5 million per year to the local economy.

SAC has produced a consultation document outlining the proposed changes, including detailed maps and environmental analyzes, and a three-page “easy-to-read” guide in English and Welsh.

These documents and the consultation questionnaire can be accessed via the Civil Aviation Authority’s online portal:

SAC will also host drop-in sessions where members of the public can ask questions and learn more about the proposal. These meetings take place in the main hangar of the Llanbedr airfield, with appropriate Covid-19 measures being taken:
• Thursday, December 10, 2020, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Friday, December 11, 2020, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Welsh available)
• Saturday, December 12, 2020, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Postal replies can be sent to:

Change of airspace
Snowdonia Aerospace Center
Llanbedr, LA45 2PX
SAC will be happy to answer further questions by email: [email protected] or
Phone: 01341 360038.

Lee Paul, CEO of Snowdonia Aerospace said:

“We continue to develop complementary research, development, test and evaluation (RDT & E) business opportunities in the aerospace industry at Llanbedr Aerodrome. In order to support these operations, we must now try to improve and formalize the current airspace around the Aerodrome as. The current provision is insufficient to meet the identified future needs and the risks that limit the opportunities in the strategic economic Interests of the British and Welsh Governments.

Llanbedr has long been a UK asset for RDT&E in the aerospace industry and in recent years demand has increased due to its ideal location for Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) drone testing. These activities have previously been satisfied through the use of a temporary hazard area, but both customer demand and the need for trust and trust are now such that a permanent change of airspace request is warranted.

Moving to a permanent hazard area will allow throughput to increase to meet market needs and give UK companies in these sectors the security of being able to operate reactively in the UK. Many UK companies have chosen to test overseas due to uncertainties about the availability of adequate and suitable commercial test environments.

Especially in these unprecedented times, it is imperative that we encourage innovation in the UK and help UK businesses do business within the UK. All of the Dangar areas in the UK are currently managed and controlled on behalf of the MOD with limited opportunities for commercial exploitation and exploitation.

The establishment of a permanent danger zone, the first civilian airspace of its kind to support UK businesses in the emerging aviation sectors, will act as a catalyst for economic recovery and support for long-term sustainable jobs.

John Idris Jones, Chairman of the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, said:
The Snowdonia Enterprise Zone Board welcomes this SAC consultation and encourages local stakeholders to get involved. This change in airspace designation is a key factor in the longer term development of the site as a location for high quality employment opportunities in space related research and research, development and evaluation of aircraft designed to use low carbon fuels, to meet the government’s goal of reducing carbon emissions to be achieved by 2050.

Cllr Gareth Thomas, Cabinet Member (Business and Community), Gwynedd Council said:

We have long supported the development of the Snowdonia Aerospace Center for the development of civil novel aircraft and space technologies to create sustainable, high quality jobs in Meirionnydd and across the region. We are pleased to see that steps are being taken to enable safe piloting of these technologies and would encourage anyone in the community who has an interest in the site to respond to the consultation.

John Whalley, CEO of Aerospace Wales said:

Aerospace Wales is the industry association of the sector working closely with the Welsh Government on the future strategy. This proposal from the Snowdonia Aerospace Center is extremely important to ensure that Llanbedr plays a leading role in developing future flight concepts for the benefit of the local community, the people of Wales and the wider UK aviation community. The technologies developed will help support a more sustainable future and job creation with high added value. I want to encourage everyone to get involved and help shape the future.

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