Skyguide and AirMap team up to develop and deploy first national UAS traffic management system in Europe

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Skyguide, which is a Swiss air navigation service provider, and AirMap, which is the leading global airspace management platform for UAS, have announced that they will develop and deploy the first national UAS traffic management system in Europe.

​The resulting system from this partnership between the two companies will be the first national deployment of U-space, which is Europe’s vision for the “digital infrastructure that will support safe and secure access to European skies for millions of drones.”

U-space is similar to the U.S. “Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM)” initiative, in that it is a “collaborative effort to enable situational awareness, data exchange, and digital communication for the European drone ecosystem.”

During a pilot phase scheduled to start in June, skyguide and AirMap plan to integrate the AirMap UTM platform with skyguide’s infrastructure and introduce automated flight authorization in a single airspace environment.

Described as the most “comprehensive and connected platform of its kind,” the AirMap UTM platform offers a variety of things, including up-to-date airspace information for every country in the world, national airspace rules for more than 20 countries, and the largest network of UAS operators, manufacturers, and airspace managers in the UAS ecosystem, reaching more than 85% of the world’s UAS.

The companies will also develop a roadmap for Swiss U-space, which is expected to set the stage for the deployment of a fully operational UAS traffic management system in 2019 and beyond.

Expected to be a powerful catalyst to Switzerland’s UAS economy, Swiss U-space will make sure that all categories of UAS and all types of missions can safely take flight in Switzerland’s airspace. Swiss U-space will be equipped with many features including, but not limited to, “blockchain-based registration for users and drones; dynamic geofencing and instant digital airspace authorization; and real-time traffic alerts for drone pilots and live drone telemetry for airspace managers.”

“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.”

Ben Marcus, CEO of AirMap, adds, “with Swiss U-space, Switzerland aims to safely open the skies for drone commerce. 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 partnership between skyguide and AirMap comes after the success of skyguide’s 2017 Swiss U-space trial, which was the “first live demonstration of sophisticated U-space services in Europe.” Skyguide, AirMap, and SITAONAIR all worked together to exhibit fully operational U-space capabilities, which included registration and identification, geofencing, and flight authorization – during live drone missions performed by senseFly and PX4 in Geneva.