Thales and Telestra link to provide low level airspace management in Australia

Thales and Telstra, an Australian mobile network provider, have agreed to partner on low altitude airspace management systems for manned and unmanned vehicles, such as helicopters, drones and autonomous flying taxis.

“The ambition is to create a robust digital communications network infrastructure using Telstra’s expertise, to underpin the navigation and surveillance ecosystem needed to safely manage low altitude airspace,” according to a company press release. “Thales and Telstra’s prototype air traffic control platform, called Low Altitude Airspace Management (LAAM) is capable of integrating manned and unmanned traffic, and will include automated drone flight approvals and dynamic airspace management. This collaboration will foster the development and growth of new products, services and innovations.

The two companies are currently working on a prototype system.

“With the huge increase in drones in the airspace, flights per day will go from thousands to millions. The challenges are enormous, as are the opportunities. In Australia drone use will drive efficiency and financial benefits to a large proportion of Australian businesses. Thales is partnering with Telstra to contribute to the creation of a seamless sky where we help our customers integrate unmanned aircraft into controlled airspace as well as supporting drone users to perform their missions in an orderly, safe and timely manner,” said Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive, Thales Australia.

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