Airservices Australia issues RFI for an integrated drone surveillance system

Airservices Australia is in the process of gathering information relating to the provision of an Integrated Drone Surveillance System. The company has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking information from industry on the key elements that may constitute such a system.

According to the company website:

“Following analysis of the information received from the market, Airservices may proceed to a following stage – a Request for Tender (RFT). Further information on the Integrated Drone Surveillance RFI processes can be found here (External link)”.

The following paragraphs are taken from the RFI.

Airservices responsibilities for the management of drones in ATM operations are derived from various requirements, including the Civil Aviation Act 1988, Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Parts 101 and 172 as well as the Air Services Act 1995. A key element of Airservices role is to ensure effective aerodrome boundary management for existing and new airspace users across Australia as the predicted volume of drone operations greatly increases. As seen internationally, unauthorised drone operations can cause significant impact and delays on operational networks as well as reduce adequate separation between manned traffic. Through the application of drone surveillance, identification, tracking and classification of unknown airspace entrants will be made, maintaining safety for traditional aircraft.

An Integrated drone surveillance platform with allow Airservices the ability to maintain safety across Australian airports that service both domestic and international traffic. An integrated capability will enable Airservices to detect, classify, recognise, and identify potential threats to airspace around our aerodromes. The ability to detect and respond to alerts in real-time will assist Airservices and other relevant parties, such as enforcement and partnering government agencies to ensure the risk of unauthorised activities remains acceptably safe. Through the integration of several sensors into one display platform, Airservices will be alerted to relevant drone operations that require attention through a holistic airspace picture.

Airservices will look to trial the integrated drone surveillance platform at an Australian aerodrome to test numerous capabilities, such as coverage of the system, ability to detect and alert against relevant identified risks and to utilise the human machine interface (HMI). This will be managed from a central location based in Canberra, where on-going analysis and supplementary responses can take place. Following the successfully application at one site, Airservices may seek to employ the integrated drone surveillance platform across numerous airports in Australia to provide holistic coverage.

Airservices and the Australian Government have recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to seek industry feedback on Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) services proposed to be developed as part of a Flight Information Management System (FIMS) prototype. The following is the Australian Government’s proposed definition of a FIMS: a) The FIMS is a gateway for data exchange between the UTM participants and the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system, through which the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) fulfils its legislative requirements, while making relevant airspace information available to airspace users. b) The FIMS provides a mechanism for shared situational awareness among all airspace users, and specifically UTM participants, as a central component of the overall UTM ecosystem. c) The FIMS is the UTM component that the ANSP will build and manage centrally to support UTM operations. The primary functions of the FIMS are: i. To provide applicable and necessary centralised UTM services to enable the safety, efficiency, and equitable access of airspace to all participants. ii. To exchange UTM information with the ATM system enabling UTM/ATM integration. d) UAS Service Suppliers (USS) will interface with the FIMS to access UTM services and data and provide data to the FIMS as required. Drone surveillance is an integral starting point to understand the degree of unauthorised and authorised operations in controlled airspace and provide insight into their management, supporting an integrated network for a variety of airspace users into the future.

Responsible authority: Airservices Australia

Tender number: 20090302

Deadline: 14 October 2020


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