Spain launches airspace risk assessment programme to support U-space development

As part of U-space implementation work, Spain’s ministry of transport has launched a major new Airspace Risk Assessment (ARA) programme with Eurocontrol. The ARA is designed to guarantee the safe integration of drone operations into designated U-spaces in Spain – areas in which drones fly increasingly complex operations, in an architecture comprising certified U-space service providers working alongside air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and drone plus urban eVTOL operators.

According to a Eurocontrol Linkedin post:

“Eurocontrol, with its drone and air traffic flow management experience, is increasingly called upon to provide extensive packages of practical assistance to states looking to conduct ARAs via our well-established Support to States (STS) mechanism, complemented by a wide range of webinars and other drone-related actions.

“Eurocontrol expects that supporting states with their ARAs is set to be the most-requested support activity of 2023, and in total 20 states have called on the agency so far this year for support on drone-related matters, ranging from delivering familiarisation workshops to setting up dedicated ARA support projects.”

The kick-off meeting in late January 2023 organised by the Spanish DGAC at the Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana in Madrid represents the first major ARA support activity of 2023.

The Eurocontrol team of Agency drone experts introduced assessment methodology that includes a series of ARA best practices, and initiated a series of steps that will enable Spain by the end of this year to designate its first U-space airspace. The work to do this will involve the full spectrum of affected stakeholders, from Spanish ANSP ENAIRE to drone operators, the military, city councils, port authorities, and others.

The programme is led by the Drones team at Eurocontrol’s Innovation Hub in Brétigny, Paris.

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