By Jenny Beechener
As well as U-space technology, the industry needs “to think about the economic enablers,” said AirMap’s Sebastian Babiarz during the Hamonised Skies panel at the Amsterdam Drone Week event. “Drones are the future and require slightly different thinking on the part of higher government entities. Investing in the ecosystem is necessary to enable initial [U-space] services at scale.” This calls for economic stakeholders as well as aviation stakeholders to get involved in regulatory and standards development.
Looking ahead at how to achieve beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, Mark Watson, NATS, said no one model but a combination of federated and centralised services will be needed. “To ensure interoperability between different architectural paradigms, U-space needs to be evolutionary to integrate all airspace users”.
Digitisation will make regulation easier, more transparent and accessible for drone operators, according to Wing’s Reinaldo Negron. “There will be millions of operators at different levels and in various categories. We need to help drone operators with a simple and easy way to access the sky at low cost.” Babiarz added that UTM brings a new level of digital services, accompanied by a clear harmonised digital picture. Data service provider INVOLI commented that standards are essential to deliver supplemental data services such as meteorological information and communications coverage to the drone users, explained Manu Lubrano.
Panel members, which also included Lorenzo Murzilli from the Swiss regulator, support the recent publication by the Global UTM Association (GUTMA) of the white paper Designing UTM for Global Success which identifies the key principles for creating a successful, globally-interoperable UTM system.
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