Members of the new European Network U-space Demonstrators meet for the first time

14 November 2018

Following the launch of the European Network of U-space Demonstrators by Commissioner Violeta Bulc on 19 October in Antwerp, EUROCONTROL is delighted to be hosting today the first meeting of the Network members.

The meeting will be focussing on addressing the challenges which businesses are facing to deploy U-space services and will look at how the Network can best support them. 

It will promote dialogue and exchange of experience amongst U-space early implementers and their associated communities, i.e. U-space service providers, UAS operators, local and regional authorities, other concerned public and private undertakings, regulators and competent authorities. The objective is to:

  • de-risk implementations, by reducing "first-time" errors and uncertainties and sharing "lessons learned", notably for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) or automated applications;
  • accelerate the lead-time to market for novel services and solutions, notably by facilitating the mobilisation of the relevant public and private parties that are pivotal in enabling and authorising the deployment of such solutions into the marketplace;
  • provide a platform for those regulators and other public authorities – in particular safety authorities and local authorities - which are responsible for handling early implementations, to jointly acquire the capabilities and develop the due processes and guidance that are key to realising such implementations;
  • reduce red tape by streamlining regulatory and administrative hurdles across borders, pushing for as much harmonisation as possible.

A series of presentations will be held, featuring lessons learned from public and private industries, a briefing on the European Transport and Mobility policy by the European Commission, expectations from the regulator as well as from investors seeking to invest in U-space business. Members of the Network will also be able to brainstorm and explore ways of overcoming the challenges.

EUROCONTROL is part of the Network Cell, together with EASA and SJU, which supports the newly established Network to develop concrete material for U-space projects. The network will become a forum to share knowledge on how to keep drone operations safe, secure and green.

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 timing for U-space is critical given the speed at which the market is growing. The aim is to have foundation U-space services in place by 2019.

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