Estonia introduces flight planning app and online environment for drone operators

Estonian air navigation service provider EANS is introducing a new system for the management of drone flights, which will be available as a smart app and online environment for businesses and private drone pilots. Drone users will be able to securely exchange data, learn about the rules for flying drones, register flights, monitor airspace and apply for take-off clearance if necessary, says EANS.

EANS is working with Frequentis to introduce the new system. Frequentis is cooperating with Flyk to develop he user interface for the new unmanned traffic management (UTM) environment.

The new system creates the capacity to provide a common information platform for unmanned aviation stakeholders. The solution will allow, for example, public authorities, businesses and other drone users with their own drone programmes and services to exchange data securely and openly. For example, the data could be used as input for the creation of new drone-related services such as parcel drone delivery services or air taxi services.

The new solution also introduces a drone map service. It is intended for people who are simply interested in flying drones, as well as for those who fly drones themselves. The map can be viewed in the web environment and in a smart app. It allows drone pilots to see permanent and temporary flight restriction zones and altitudes, register flights, monitor airspace and apply for take-off clearance if necessary. The use of the services for drone flights requires identification, allowing air traffic controllers to contact the pilot quickly if necessary. As a major innovation, the user will be able to see the flight plans of other drone pilots. The latter, however, requires active flight registration, i.e. submission of a flight plan in the environment.

“Unmanned aeronautics, or drone flying, is rapidly gaining popularity among hobbyists and businesses alike. For the latter, drones offer an opportunity to expand or make their business more efficient. For example, energy companies and harbours that already use drones, but in the future also parcel drone and air taxi service providers, will be able to develop their services in cooperation with ATC,” comments Ivar Värk, CEO of ATC. “The new system will support the development of unmanned aviation and, at the same time, help us to ensure a safe airspace,” he adds.

Climate Minister Kristen Michal notes: “Unmanned aviation has great potential for development. It is good if the public sector can help this climate-friendly industry to grow with developments, while also cutting red tape and increasing safety.”.

Initially, the environment will be available on PC, tablet and mobile at An app for Apple iOS and Android devices will be available soon.

(Image: EANS Drone Map)

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