The U.K. Airports and Aviation Authority (AACA) says it is working with a manufacturer of the Air Force’s X-Band Radar Drone (AVRD) system to install it on a British Airways Boeing 777 jetliner.
The FAA says the AVRD is designed to provide the ability to track aircraft movements using radio frequency signals that are broadcast by drones.
The U of A says the system is capable of using the same radio frequency that is used to transmit radar data.
It says the device is also able to detect movement in the vicinity of the aircraft by tracking its position using a camera mounted on the rear of the drone.
The system is intended to improve aviation safety and minimise the risk of aircraft collision.
The AVRD system was developed in the late 1970s by the US Department of Defense, the British Airports Agency and Boeing, but has been used only on commercial aircraft.
The AACA says it expects to start receiving the new system from Boeing on Tuesday.