Thales, Telstra and Geelong City develop low altitude airspace management system

With support from the City of Greater Geelong, Thales and Telstra have jointly developed a Low Altitude Airspace Management (LAAM) system, “a technology that dynamically manages airspace, integrating manned and unmanned traffic whilst automating drone flight approvals,” according to Thales.

“Using the operational expertise of AUAV (, a leading drone operator, Thales and Telstra combined their expertise to build a robust, safe and secure ecosystem, preparing the way for the integration of manned and unmanned traffic in Australian skies,” said a company press release. According to Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins:“This trial has proved that the technology is there to support drone users perform their missions in an orderly, safe and timely manner, helping to safely unlock their full benefit.”

Telstra’s Group Owner, Incubation and Excellence, Gianpaolo Carraro said, “We’re looking to solve aerial connectivity at lower altitudes than regular aviation, such as command and control and airspace awareness. Our ambition is to be an integral player for the industry, supporting safer & secure low altitude airspace equality.”

The company is using secure 4G, 5G, and IoT networks and advanced LANES technology to provide the communications network.

The Thales UAS Airspace Management solution – at the heart of the LAAM – is in operation in the USA to provide drone management services for the New York State Corridor, the accredited by the FAA under the LAANC initiative, and will soon be deployed in the State of North Dakota supporting safe airspace integration of unmanned aircraft, said Thales. In Europe, the Thales UAS Airspace Management solution is managing the airspace for drones over two major cities: Rennes and Lille.

“Over a six-month period, the Geelong Low Altitude Airspace Management (GLAAM) Initiative demonstrated that drone operations can be conducted safely in a semi-urban environment and support the development of Smart City concepts in Australia. During this project, the objectives of the Geelong Smart City Office were to deliver technology solutions that put people first and provide benefit to the community. A UAV traffic management system will achieve a safer community by improving regulation, accountability and transparency of flights while mitigating privacy violations by ensuring pre-approvals for all flights including flight path, pilot and purpose.”

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