The UK has some of the busiest airspace in the world. With the evolution of innovative technologies and the expansion of new and emerging operations, it is critical to make airspace safer, more integrated and deliver growth in the sector.

The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority will convene a task force to work with the manufacturing industry to develop and publish electronic conspicuity (EC) specifications to enable interoperability between airspace users.

The jointly developed specifications will take into account future requirements for all aviation including unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and not be an unintended barrier to innovation in future electronic conspicuity functionality.

These specifications will provide clear guidance to all airspace users and service providers to achieve interoperability between systems, enabling information to be shared accurately and reliably and promoting safe integration and growth.

The adoption of EC specifications will not be mandated UK-wide. Users of other systems can continue to benefit from the functionality that those products offer.

However, compliance with the established EC specifications will be required in mandatory airspace to ensure interoperability between airspace users.

This will mean some users of airspace may need to adopt new equipment or adapt existing devices to meet the new specifications. We will set out more details in due course about support to help manufacturers and airspace users make those changes.

The EC rebate scheme, launched in October 2020, will remain open to applications until 31 March 2022. Those meeting the requirements can claim a 50% rebate of the purchase cost of an EC device to a maximum of £250 (including VAT) per applicant.