Japan shares more details of air traffic management system trial in Wakkanai City

Japan’s Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) trial led by the National Institute of New Energy and Industrial Development Organization (NEDO) will focus on the safe, simultaneous operations of multiple commercial drones in a shared airspace. The trial brings together a number of industry leaders including ANRA Technologies, BIRD INITIATIVE, NEC Corporation and All Nippon Airways (ANA). The trial aims to test an integrated system for managing commercial and hobby level drone operations in a given airspace, reported in Unmanned Airspace news published last month.

A successful trial could pave towards integration of non-military drones into the nationwide ATC system in Japan, with lessons learned also supporting further adoption abroad.

Features of the trial:

1. The testing will take place over Wakkanai City located on the northern tip of Hokkaido

2. The testbed is focused on creating a reliable framework and blueprint for the integration of drones into a nationwide traffic management system

3. Future use cases include drone logistics, disaster response, and inspection

4. ANRAs decentralized traffic management platform will help to coordinate and negotiate airspace between operators to avoid collisions

Despite a slow start regarding drones, Japan is fully committed to being a major player in the global UAM sector. Successfully implementing a new drone traffic system is a major hurdle for the industry as whole. Once completed, a clearer path towards Japan’s Air Revolution can be realized. With a successful trial holding much promise for scale UAM operations, many industry experts are likely to be focused intently on Japan in the coming months, says Japanese drone company DroNext.

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