In the previous article, it was explained that the U-Space blueprint outlines a vision of integrated manned and unmanned aviation with the U-Space providing interfaces between the two. Air traffic management typically comprises three distinct activities: air traffic control, air traffic flow management, and aeronautical information services. The U-Space will more or less address all three of them relying on very high degree of automation and digital service.
On 16th June 2017, the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking announced the U-space Blueprint which sets out the vision for traffic management for drones in low-level airspace. It aims to enable complex drone operations with a high degree of automation to happen in all types of operational environments, particularly in an urban context. The new vision hints at a future where highly complex operations in the crowded airspace will be dealt with by autonomous operation of software and sensors in the blink of an eye… Will this new vision live up to its promises of delivering a solution to enable large-scale commercial operations with drones in a safe and secure manner? What are the challenges and what will be the law’s response?