Skye Air launches traffic management system Skye UTM to support India’s growing drone sector

Indian drone services company Skye Air has launched an Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) system called Skye UTM.

Skye UTM is a Cloud-based aerial traffic management system that integrates unmanned air traffic with the manned aviation airspace, says a report by Investment Guru posted on the Skye Air website. Skye UTM is designed to provide situational awareness, autonomous navigation, risk assessment, and traffic management to all drone/other aerial mobility operators across the airspace.

Unveiled by India’s Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Sky UTM is expected to support drone operators to plan routes, make flight plans and assess risks before running drone-based operations in the country. Emphasising new technologies in construction, infra and highway sector, the minister said it is the right time for Indian drone startups to lead the industry.

Ankit Kumar, chief executive at Skye Air said the software imports data from the government’s Digital Sky platform, which has been created to help drone operators plan flights in Indian airspace. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) launched the platform in 2018 to provide drone operators with information to run drone missions in India.

“Drones are going to be used across sectors — from construction, agriculture, healthcare, defence, infrastructure, surveying, real estate, and transport. Drone companies will even monitor highways and road construction. There is a lot of research happening that will certainly help scale its usage,” Gadkari said at the event, reports Investment Guru. He said the Ministry will soon invite participation from drone startups to be deployed for real-time monitoring and speed up highway constructions, and also keep a check on fatal road accidents. A tender will soon be floated by the ministry to execute the operation, the Minister is reported as saying.

Ankit Kumar, CEO, Skye Air said Skye UTM provides situational awareness to both regulators and pilots, by digitally establishing communication with the drones and connecting traffic across the airspace,” said Kumar. The Skye UTM captures more than 255 parameters of UAV movements and stores them into its ‘Blackbox’ which is a published systematic description of the entire flight. The platform offers a 3D view of the drone airspace, along with operations and regulations mapping servers which offer the latest airspace status, verified paths, and display real time UAV movements.

Skye UTM has supported more than 300 successful BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone flights to date.

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