The SESAR JU U-space SAFIR consortium has successfully demonstrated the safety and economic viability of integrated drone traffic in a challenging environment.
The open day hosted by the Port of Antwerp displayed a multitude of industrial and commercial drone applications during live demonstrations.
A variety of consortium partners also demonstrated individual use cases.
The SAFIR consortium (Safe and Flexible Integration of Initial U-space Services in a Real Environment) consists of 13 public and private organisations (Amazon Prime Air, Aveillant, C-Astral, DronePort, Elia, Explicit, Helicus, Port of Antwerp, Proximus, SABCA, Skeyes, Tekever and Unifly).
The consortium detailed how the demonstrations proved that interoperable, harmonised and standardised U-space services can be deployed in a safe and reliable manner across Europe.
Alain Siebert, SESAR JU chief economist & master planning, commented: “I want to congratulate all the partners for their hard work and outstanding achievements. Today you made history! Antwerp is now well established as one of the key locations in Europe where we are advancing U-space in a real operating environment with huge digital opportunities for people and business.”
The vice mayor for the port of Antwerp, Annick De Ridder, added: “Innovation and digitisation are crucial if our port is to stay sustainably competitive in the long term. Port of Antwerp is therefore the driving force when devising and realising solutions for the challenges of tomorrow. Drones will become indispensable in the near future, also in our port. Given the particular nature of our port, this has to be done in a safe manner.”
Concluding: “The SAFIR project has made clear what will be needed in terms of regulation and requirements at all levels to facilitate drone flights in and around the port in a safe and secure way.”