It is the first national air traffic management system for drones in Europe. The demonstration was part of the “Drone Innovators Network” event, which was organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) and Presence Switzerland.
Skyguide is the first air traffic control company to implement the U-Space. U-Space is the European vision of a digital infrastructure that can provide millions of drones with secure access to the skies in Europe. Like the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) initiative in the United States, U-Space is a collaborative project designed to provide situational awareness, data exchange and digital communication for the European drone ecosystem. The U-Space will act as a powerful catalyst for the drone industry in Switzerland and its thriving community of drone companies.
In the demonstration, several dozen drones carried out various commercial tasks throughout Switzerland, e.g. They supplied medical articles or carried out weather observations. The drones were connected to the Swiss U-Space system, which is powered by AirMap technology.
From 3 flights in Geneva to dozens nationwide, in just 1 year. The implementation of Swiss U-space has allowed Switzerland to take advantage of the benefits drones have to offer. @HofSwitzerland https://t.co/AjzUuZHorj #Swiss4Tech #HomeofDrones #Uspace pic.twitter.com/fjvHyB8jKL
— AirMap (@AirMapIO) June 26, 2018
It provides live information about the airspace structure and the traffic situation and reports information about the live position and the flight plan to an air traffic management dashboard. The dashboard visualizes the fully integrated traffic flow for manned and unmanned aircraft.
“In September 2017, we successfully demonstrated the concepts of the U-Space with three flights in the city of Geneva,” said Alex Bristol, CEO of skyguide. “Today, we used a system that manned and unmanned traffic for dozens of drone deployments anywhere in Switzerland. This tremendous progress proves that U-Space contributes to the safety of the air traffic system and that Switzerland leads the way in drone innovation. ”
“Skyguide and AirMap have demonstrated today that U-Space transport systems are ready to go live and support live commercial drone services throughout Switzerland and later in Europe,” said Ben Marcus, co-founder and CEO of AirMap. “These are exciting prospects for the growing community of drone operators in Europe for whom we are paving the way.
Earlier this year, skyguide and AirMap announced that they would jointly develop the first national air traffic management system for drones in Europe, the Swiss U-Space. Today, AirMap also announced the opening of an office in Zurich, where a team working closely with skyguide will support the thriving drone community in Switzerland.