Danish transport minister launches trial UTM platform at Funen drone test centre

Danish Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht inaugurated a test version of a new Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platform on 23 October 2020. Danish air navigation service provider Naviair plans to the platform in the U-space Fyn airspace at the drone test centre at HCA Airport on Funen. The initiative is expected to pave the way for free and safe flying of drones in Danish airspace over the coming years.

Among other things, the UTM platform will ensure that thousands of drones can fly safely, efficiently and fully integrated in harmony with conventional air traffic.

Naviair UTM is responsible for the development of the platform and cooperates closely with the University of Southern Denmark (Syddansk Universitet), HCA Airport, UAS Denmark and the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, with test partners Sundhedsdroner and Fyns politi.

UTM system tests will initially take place in U-space Funen’s airspace at the drone test center at HCA Airport. Frome 2021, the platform will be gradually rolled out for use throughout Denmark and in the coming years, the UTM platform will be expanded with increasingly advanced functions so that over time it will be possible to carry out very complex drone operations fully integrated with other air traffic. Today, drones are only allowed to fly within the operator’s field of vision and under very restrictive rules. When the UTM platform is fully operational, the aim is to support beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations.

“In Denmark alone, there are now 5,000 registered commercial drones. This number is only expected to increase over the years. This is why it is relevant to develop a system that can coordinate drone routes and ensure that they can be in the air at the same time as our planes – without disturbing citizens and with no consequences on air traffic. There is great future potential in using drones within commerce and the delivery of goods, and maybe even within passenger transport. I am therefore very excited to follow the development and effect of the test system that Naviair has developed,” says the Minister for Transport.

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