Enaire has published the tender for the development of its U-Space platform in Spain with a budget of two million euros on its contract portal. This development will enable the company to be prepared for the provision of underground space services for the automated management of drone operations out of sight in certain reserved spaces known as underground space airspace, and in particular centrally on the shared information Its services or GUS (Common Information Services), which will be essential for the safe support of drone operations when the new European underground space regulation comes into force in January 2023.
As a provider of common information services (CIS), the management company will be the sole broker of information and operational data as well as the interface between the providers of traditional air traffic services and the providers of underground space services, who will be the ones who will provide these services to the end user, the drone operator , provide.
In accordance with the architecture of a single CIS provider of the U-space regulation, the U-space platform will be one of the first developments of U-space systems in Europe to differentiate common information services (CIS) and provide them centrally, whereby the performance as a reference not only nationally but also internationally.
In any case, this U-Space platform has been designed to offer the user a full U-Space service while ensuring that the necessary validation tests are carried out for the different types of planned drone operations, from commercial to professional or from recreation to emergency or safety to enable the company to initially provide U-Space services to end users in U-Space airspaces in the absence of U-Space operators.
This tender not only gives Spain the opportunity to comply with the U-Space Implementation Regulation at an early stage, but also safely facilitates the automated management and integration of drone operations in the airspace and enables the Spanish service market to grow with drones.
The launch of this platform marks the continuation of previous Enaire Drones and Enaire Planea initiatives to integrate drone traffic management at the national level.
In recent years, the demand for drone operations, which are being facilitated by new drone applications, has grown exponentially. For this reason, a number of very specific and digitized services are required that allow the safe and efficient integration of the automated management of large numbers of simultaneous drone operations in the same part of the airspace.
At the end of 2016, the European Commission took the political initiative to establish and implement the concept of automated management of drone operations in the European Union called U-Space.
The U-space facilitates drone operations, from the simplest (photographing a field walk) to the most complex (operating in high-density urban environments) and integrating them safely into the airspace with the current conventional operations managed by air traffic control services.
The various U-Space services will be implemented gradually over the coming years. In terms of innovation and technological development for the implementation and support of the U-space concept, the European Commission relies on the SESAR program of the SESAR Joint Company, which carries out large-scale demonstration projects to safely deploy technologies that support underground Support space services.
The EASA Committee approved the Commission Implementing Rules of the U-Space Regulatory Framework on February 24, which will come into force on January 26, 2023, and in the coming months EASA will publish a number of other proposals supporting regulations.
At national level, in the Strategic Plan for the Development of the Civil Drone Sector in Spain (2018-21), drawn up by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda in the framework of the DGAC in 2018, the manager was designated as the one responsible for the implementation of the underground Space systems in an effective and orderly manner.
The company has developed various tests for integrating drones. The DOMUS project stands out. This underground space demonstration consisted of exercises in which real drone flights were tested in combination with manned aviation in controlled and uncontrolled airspaces. It was the first demonstration in Spain in a real environment of drone management by U-Space services that enabled this Spanish industry to position itself in Europe.
She participates in European projects as a founding partner of the public-private alliance SESAR Joint Undertaking of the European Commission. Here, these concepts of airspace for drones are examined and tested using applications that contribute to the management of urban mobility (UAM) and, among other things, integrate the delivery of parcels and flying taxis in cities. Carrying out certain operations with drones leads to a strong reduction in harmful gas emissions compared to other land transport.
In order to test the integration of drone traffic in our airspace, European consortia are currently involved, which will demonstrate the feasibility of the UAM concept. The projects CORUS-XUAM, AMU-LED and Uspace4UAM, which will carry out various exercises in Spain: Casteldefells in Barcelona, Santiago de Compostela and Villacarrillo in January, deserve special mention.
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