The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a public consultation on proposals to extend the existing airspace used by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) above Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

The extension to the airspace is being sought because the increasing sophistication of the UAV used by UK armed forces means that the current airspace is now insufficient to accommodate the full training requirement, the MoD said.

The proposed new area of operation, bounded by Warminster, Andover, Stockbridge and Shaftesbury, would only be activated when required for training, predominantly during normal working hours.

It would include additional airspace to provide separation from civil air traffic when activated.

The public consultation period will last until late September once regulatory approval is gained from the Civil Aviation Authority, the MoD hopes to have the extended area in operation by the end of 2009.

By staff writer