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Diary Date: UK Drone Show 2016

uk-drone-show-logoThe UK Drone Show, Europe’s largest drone show, returns to Birmingham’s NEC on December 3-4 2016. Technology giant Panasonic is sponsoring the event for a second year, joined by drone industry leaders DJI and Parrot.

Last year’s event welcomed over 6,500 visitors and provided them with a program of talks, entertainment in the form of indoor drone racing and a range of exhibition stands showcasing drone technology. Over 8,000 people are expected to attend this year, which has led the organisers to double the hall space.

New attractions for 2016 include:

  • dedicated drone demo areas, where major manufacturers and suppliers can show off their latest drones in a netted flight area;
  • the Panasonic Imaging Zone dedicated to imaging products and accessories for drones, such as the latest 4K camera technology; and
  • the Drones@Work Zone, showcasing some of the commercial uses of drone technology.

Simon Newton, co-director of the UK Drone Show, says that over the past 18 months there has been a big shift from a general curiosity about the uses and benefits of drone technology to a stronger emphasis on potential business benefits of the technology.

Drones are used in a variety of sectors

He said: “The public sector has been leading the way in this regard – the emergency and security services have been quick to grasp the benefits of a quick deployment of a drone to gain a tactical aerial view or to record evidence. We’re now seeing a big increase in enquiries from other sectors, such as agriculture, private security, inspection and safety, the construction and planning industries and many more.”

Newton added: “We think the future is going to see more and more drones being used by an ever-widening number of business sectors. Because they fly and are fitted with cameras, the most obvious use of commercial drones initially was for aerial photography and video. But the rise of ‘off the shelf’ drones from major brands like DJI and Yuneec has driven costs down and capabilities up, meaning many businesses can now buy into the technology for a whole variety of use cases. From small building firms performing roof inspections to huge utility companies performing safety inspections of nationally important infrastructure, and everything in between.”