HADO will create a scalable technical and regulatory enterprise that will dramatically accelerate the commercial roll out of autonomous UAS in high intensity environments across the UK.



Lead Organisation

Operational Solutions







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Project dates: 1 August 2022 – 31 July 2024

About the Project

HADO – the High intensity Autonomous Drone Operations project – aims to develop, evaluate, standardise and operationally deploy the world’s first fully automated uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) to conduct 24/7 commercial UAS operations in one of the busiest airports in the world, London Heathrow.

Please Note: Funding available is the grant value awarded by Innovate UK.

Project Activities

The project will develop and roll out a set of requirements, operating procedures, an operating safety case, and tools to will enable drones to operate autonomously in a mixed traffic environment and in the vicinity of crewed aircraft within controlled airspace. It will conduct a 4-month evaluation of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) UAS operating at Heathrow Airport. This will include missions that transit into and out of the Heathrow perimeter.

Project Benefits

HADO will develop a set of testable standards, including the testing of artificial intelligence and autonomous decision-making modules, that will support regulatory approvals and inform future airspace regulation. The project will also demonstrate how innovative technology can be combined with conventional methods to address the societal implications of autonomous drone operations in urban environments such as Heathrow Airport.

To find out more about the project, please contact Innovate UK Business Connect’s Knowledge Transfer Manager for Aviation.

Project Partners

  • Operational Solutions
  • Carmenta
  • Cranfield University
  • Dynamic Intelligence Solutions
  • Heathrow Airport
  • National Physics Laboratory
  • Rinicom
  • Thales UK

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