Drone operations in Spanish airspace increased by more than 200% in the last year

The activity of the drone sector in Spain has grown exponentially in recent years: in 2020 alone, drone operations coordinated by Enaire amounted to 1,646, 207% more than in 2019 (536) and 362% more than from 2018 (358). These were some of the data presented by the company’s head of business development for drones, Daniel Garca-Monteavaro, who attended the conference organized by Garrigues on drones and Spanish talent: groundbreaking research and development in the aerospace sector and AEDAE (Spanish Aerospace Law Association), which exhibited the most innovative projects in the field of drones developed in Spain.

The company plays a fundamental role in the control of unmanned air traffic and in particular as a provider of CIS services across the country. With this in mind, the planning for the provision of the U-space between 2021 and 2022 provides for the implementation of validations and the launch of basic services for users, and later in 2023 the launch of the CISP (Common Information Service Provider) service. . At the same time, he played a subordinate role as a public USSP (U-Space Service Provider) for administrations or security forces and forces.

Garca-Monteavaro also recalled some of the most innovative projects related to urban air mobility or air taxis. These are pilot initiatives within the framework of the Single European Sky (SESAR JU), the flights of which will take place in 2022. In Spain in particular, Aerotaxis flights will start in Santiago de Compostela (AMU-LED project) and in Villacarrillo, Jan (project USPACE4UAM) as well as package flights at Casteldefels Beach in Barcelona (CORUS-XUAM project).

In its initial phase, the U-space will be limited to a defined, separate and designated airspace for the exclusive use of drones, although in the future it will ensure drone operation in all operating environments and airspaces (including very low levels). For the use of U-Space, the regulation stipulates the services required for operation such as remote identification, authorized flight service, geographic awareness and Common Information Services (CIS), an essential set of dynamic and static data with real-time integrity that enables the Safe and efficient operation guaranteed.

The growing activity of the drone sector presents a challenge to the safe management of operations and in coordination with manned aviation, recalled Garca-Monteavaro, who highlighted the plans of the national air traffic control manager Enaire for the implementation of the approved underground space regulation last February and which will come into effect in 2023, for the automated management of drone operations as well as for operations corresponding to Urban Air Mobility (UAM) or mobility in urban areas which are expected to occur by 2025.

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