Antwerp, Brussels and Liège have been selected to test and implement a set of services for the integration of drones into the airspace within the framework of U-space. The trials are part of the work of BURDI, one of several Digital Sky Demonstrators that were launched in 2022. The cities of Antwerp, Liège and Brussels have been chosen due to the proximity of international airports, an active maritime port and the proximity of the border with the Netherlands. These environments are considered as highly relevant for the development of “UAS operations as a service” in multiple domains like delivery of goods, inspections, support to medical as well as security operations.
BURDI project coordinator, Luc Antoon from skeyes, Belgium‘s air navigation service provider (ANSP), described the demonstrator in the following SESAR 3 JU article:
The Belgium-Netherlands U-space Reference Design Implementation (BURDI) is a SESAR 3 JU Digital Sky Demonstrator co-funded by The European Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Executive Agency (CINEA) within the framework of the Connecting Europe Facility. Coordinated by skeyes, the Demonstrator brings together 18 highly complementary partners, representing all stakeholders necessary to implement U-space in complex environments, including an ANSP, airports, a common information services provider (CISP), a U-space Service Provider (USSP), drone operators and other relevant ecosystem supporters.
As a Digital Sky Demonstrator, our goal is market uptake so we are focussed on reaching a very high degree of technology maturity, building on the results of several previous SESAR projects, such as CORUS XUAM, SAFIR-Med, or DACUS.
BURDI aims to implement the U-space airspace concept to manage various, dense and complex unmanned air system (UAS) operations in controlled and uncontrolled airspace, as well as in an urban air mobility environment. With this in mind, we are addressing the current key challenge of drone integration within high complex environments.
The project aims to develop safe and secure solutions fitting for real-life operations, to be considered for future implementation in Europe. Indeed, BURDI aspires to make these solutions a reference to develop best practices, standardisation, harmonisation and/or interoperability requirements that would foster operational deployment of U-space airspace elsewhere in Europe.
The second objective focuses on market uptake of these solutions. The aim is to ensure that the solutions that will be proposed will also be economically sustainable and socially acceptable/supported so that they will actually benefit all stakeholders, including the general public.
More about BURDI: www.sesarju.eu/projects/BURDI
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