Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) ATM Integration Operational Concept

5 December 2018

The UAS air traffic management (ATM) operational concept aims to describe the operational ATM environment in which manned and unmanned aircraft must co-exist safely, including the airspace below 500ft. The planning horizon is up to and beyond 2025. The baseline against which the significance of the changes proposed in the operational concept may be measured is the present European ATM environment in 2018.

The volume of operations has expanded and has to co-exist with manned aviation on a larger scale, creating the need for this UAS ATM Operational Concept that describes operations in European Airspace of UAS capable of meeting the requirements set for each airspace classification. This includes operations below 500ft and above FL600. It is presented from a high-level ATM perspective and is fully complementary to the EASA Opinion and the detailed CONOPS being defined by the SESAR/H2020 CORUS project.

While the operational concept is visionary and even challenging, many of the current practices and processes will continue to exist through the planning horizon. In this sense, this operational concept document should be seen as evolutionary. A key point to note is that the operational concept is, to the greatest extent possible, independent of technology; that is, it recognises that within a planning horizon of more than ten years, much of the technology that exists or is in development today may change or may cease to exist and be replaced by new, as yet unknown, technologies.

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