The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) has today launched a call for proposals for studies, including demonstrations on drone traffic management in Europe. The call is a further step towards the European Commission’s U-space vision for ensuring safe and secure access to airspace for drones.
U-space is an enabling framework designed to facilitate any kind of routine mission, in all classes of airspace and all types of environment – even the most congested – while addressing an appropriate interface with manned aviation and air traffic control. When fully deployed, a wide range of drone missions that are currently being restricted will be possible thanks to a sustainable and robust European ecosystem that is globally interoperable.
The main objective of the call is “to comprehensively prepare and de-risk a rapid deployment of U-space initial services (U2) as outlined in the U-space Blueprint. U2 provides the initial set of key services building on the foundation services (U1) by adding game-changing improvements enabling initial beyond visual line-of-sight operations (BVLOS) in rural, urban and sub-urban environments and facilitating the processes for authorisations for some drone operations”.
Projects establishing a connection with the EU Smart Cities initiative are particularly encouraged.
The results will significantly contribute to:
- Boosting EU collaboration and generating confidence from investors, innovators and regulators;
- Reducing the business risks for key U-space investors
- Putting the EU at the forefront of global standards setting in the domain
- Raising awareness regarding SESAR activities related to U-space and showing tangible progress on technology and services with an objective to integrate results at EU level and in the context of the wider SESAR JU work programme
- Showing that drone operations are envisaged in a safe and secure framework to reduce/mitigate the risks linked to public acceptance
- Confirming the full-scale deployment readiness at EU level for an interoperable, harmonised and standardised deployment of U2 services across Europe
- Significantly contributing to the EU regulatory process for drones placed under the aegis of EASA.
With a call budget of EUR 9,500,000 within the framework of the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the SESAR JU intends to co-finance between 5 and 10 demonstration sites across different EU Member States. The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2018.
For more information about the call, visit the SESAR Procurement page
Peter van Blyenburgh