‘U-Space is not a hype; it is here to stay’
Urban air operations

‘U-Space is not a hype; it is here to stay'

Thursday, 26 September 2019

The VUTURA Game of Drones event in August provided the audience with the possibility to interact with panellists from Unifly, AirMap and AirHub. The panel, moderated by Marc Sandelowksy from Space53 saw lively discussion with active participation from the crowd in attendance.

Ellen Malfliet, Chief Marketing Officer of Unifly, stated that U-space is the only way forward for the safe and responsible integration of drones in Europe. U-space is no hype; it is here to stay and may even bring benefits to manned aviation. “In the end I believe that UTM will take over the role of ATM in the future. More and more flights will be autonomous so oral communication will disappear in the future.”

Teo Todorov, Project Manager of AirMap, also believes U-space is the only European answer to the emerging question of how to guide drone users. He believes the existence of different service providers, as demonstrated in the VUTURA project, is good to open the market where one provider might better suit a certain region than another provider. Todorov stated that the market is big enough for multiple service providers. “Monopolies kill innovation. We need different players. And today we prove that shouldn’t be a problem as long as the different management systems can communicate with each other.”

Stephan van Vuren, Drone Consultant and Co-Founder at AirHub, sketched a future where U-space will be used to control the lower airspace and used in cooperation with current ATM systems for higher flying drones. Commercial drone operators that operate multiple drones are also becoming aware of the need for the arrangement of traffic management services. All panellists stated that standardisation is crucial for advancing the implementation of U-space.

Read more about the VUTURA project.


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