The Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) has published a roadmap to ensure safe and secure drone operations across Europe, following its endorsement by the SESAR JU Administrative Board.
Building on the U-space blueprint, the roadmap defines what needs to be done and by when in order to integrate drones into all classes of airspace.
The roadmap will be used as input into the 2018 European ATM Master Plan update campaign to modernise Europe’s air traffic management system.
SESAR’s mission is to develop an advanced aviation environment that supports the traffic growth for both manned and unmanned aviation. Bringing together established aviation stakeholders and new players to rethink airspace and scale up technologies is one of SESAR’s key challenges in preparation for this new era.
The report stated: “Adaptation of our ways of working will not be sufficient, we also need to introduce a new approach and this is where U-Space plays will play a central role in the future transformation of our skies.”
The report outlines how the company, which is the public-private partnership managing the development phase of the Single European Sky ATM Research Programme, looks to integrate UAVs within a three phase plan. The three phases will ultimately see RPAS in classes A-G be able to operate in ontrolled/uncontrolled airspace, both under IFR or VFR.
It concluded: “As development of the landscape is still at an early stage, both from technological readiness and operational perspectives, substantial risk exist for first movers and early investors. Industry must ensure that the commercialisation can be realised and scaled up; industry must recognise this risk and take measures to ensure the necessary resources are available to make these critical investments – without them, the pace of evolution will slow and the vast value at stake will not fully materialise.
“In addition, given the dependencies described above, coordination at European level should help ensure that investment levels are kept as low as possible and that benefits are fully realised. More broadly, a robust incentivisation strategy will de-risk the deployment, maximising the opportunity for benefits across all stakeholders.”