skyguide, a Swiss air navigation service provider, and AirMap, a global airspace management platform for drones, have announced that they will partner to develop and deploy the first national drone traffic management system in Europe.
The system will be the first national deployment of U-space, Europe’s vision for the digital infrastructure that will support safe and secure access to European skies for millions of drones. Much like the U.S. “Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM)” initiative, U-space is a collaborative effort to enable situational awareness, data exchange, and digital communication for the European drone ecosystem.
In a pilot phase starting in June 2018, skyguide and AirMap plan to integrate the AirMap UTM platform with skyguide’s infrastructure and introduce automated flight authorization in a single airspace environment. Skyguide and AirMap will also develop a roadmap for Swiss U-space that will set the stage for the deployment of a fully operational drone traffic management system in 2019 and beyond.
Swiss U-space will ensure that all categories of drones and all types of missions can safely take flight in Switzerland’s airspace. Swiss U-space will include features such as:
“After a year of successful collaboration with AirMap, we expect that the AirMap UTM platform meets the highest standards required for a Swiss U-space,” says Klaus Meier, Chief Information Officer of skyguide. “We’re looking forward to bringing U-space capabilities to Switzerland and we are excited to drive this innovation together with AirMap.”
“With Swiss U-space, Switzerland aims to safely open the skies for drone commerce,” said Ben Marcus, CEO of AirMap. “We’re proud to work with skyguide to bring AirMap UTM to Switzerland and make it possible for more pilots, more drones, and more missions to take flight in Europe.”
“The establishment of a U-space is the key to improve drone operations’ safety and to satisfy the security and privacy concerns of our citizens. In order to achieve these objectives, a seamless cooperation between all the partners involved is crucial. I am glad to see that a further important step to tackle this challenge was taken today,” said Christian Hegner, Director General of Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation.
The partnership follows the success of skyguide’s 2017 Swiss U-space trial, the first live demonstration of sophisticated U-space services in Europe. Together, skyguide, AirMap, and SITAONAIR exhibited fully operational U-space capabilities – including registration and identification, geofencing, and flight authorization – during live drone missions performed by senseFly and PX4 in Geneva.