Spain’s air navigation service provider ENAIRE is integrating new agents into the U-space ecosystem under development nationally. U-space service providers will be able to offer their services to drone operators in a competitive market, aided by the Single Common Information Services Provider (CIS-P). To provide this service nationally, ENAIRE is preparing a tender for the supply of a U-Space platform that, along with other providers of aerodrome air traffic services, drone operators and privileged users, will comprise the U-Space ecosystem.
The European regulation governing U-Space was approved in February and will enter into force on 26 January 2023. It lays out the rules and procedures for the provision of specific services that allow for secure drone operations and their integration into the aviation system. It will be applicable for specific reserved geographical areas, designated as U-Space airspace by Member States.
ENAIRE says the development and deployment of a U-space platform, tendered to provide U-Space services, will allow the agency to prepare for the automated management of drone operations beyond line of sight in designated U-space airspace, and specifically, to centralise the common information services.
ENAIRE reports rising numbers of drone operations. In the first quarter of 2021, 1,038 drone operations were coordinated, 63% more than in 2020 (1,646 jobs). Proof of this rapid growth was evident in March 2021, which had more operations than the whole of 2018. ENAIRE says it is working to improve and reduce the processing times for these requests in an effort to foster the growth of the drone sector and the work of operators, in their clear vocation as public service providers. 75% of the operations have been processed through ENAIRE Planea, which is available at planea.enaire.es, the platform for managing and requesting aerial works, a resource that is expected to grow in the short term.
ENAIRE proposes transferring its U-space initiatives to GO-DRON, an operational task force for unmanned aviation. GO-DRONE held its second meeting in April 2021 and agreed a broad programme of work that includes initiatives related to professional and recreational drone operations, as well as drone operations carried out by law enforcement agencies, according to the ENAIRE press report. Subsequent development of this programme will involve the user associations represented in this group, as well as the Civil Aviation General Directorate, Aena, AESA, the Air Force Staff, the Department of Customs and Special Taxes of the Revenue Agency, the State Secretariat for Security and representatives from industry and commercial aviation.
U-space is the set of digital services that make it possible for the digital and automated management of a large number of drone operations. It was proposed by the European Commission as Europe’s solution for automatically managing UAS and integrating them into European airspace.
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