Norway’s Avinor announces tender details for a national UTM system

Norway’s air navigation service provider Avinor has issued preliminary tender information for a national UTM system.

According to a translation of the tender document: “Avinor Flysikring writes in the tender documents that the delivery has a limit of up to NOK 10 million….Avinor Flight Insurance (will choose) a supplier before Christmas and hopes to have UTM operational during 2020.”

“We have an increasing need to get digital computer systems in place to handle drone traffic,” says Axel Knutsen, drone programme leader at Avinor Flight Insurance. on the website. ”The entire industry is growing tremendously and many of our control towers receive requests from people and companies who want to use drones. In order to safeguard this in an….efficient manner, we must have a UTM system.”

The UTM system will be developed as a communications hub between all stakeholders and has been inspired by the US LAANC system; it will allow drone operators to access an automated flight authorisation system even in sensitive areas around airports.

“For the air traffic controllers it is a traffic management system, for the drone operators there is an application where they can find all of the regulations, get permission to fly and get an overview of where other operators are flying,” says Knutsen. “What we require is a technology supplier who can deliver the system, as well as deliver maintenance and support.”

The system should contain a centralised management server; a user interface for messaging control towers and an application delivery for drone operators, which can be used on most platforms, says Knutsen.

The deadline for prequalification is 18 August. Five companies will be selected from this initial process. The first objective will be to make the airspace around airports available for drone operations followed by a full implementation throughout Norwegian airspace. Avinor wants a step-by-step introduction with one to three test units, before full implementation.

“We hope that the system will be fully operational during 2020, but we must first see what the supplier can deliver,” says Knutsen. “We want it as soon as possible, and the plan is to start with the airports that are particularly vulnerable to drone traffic.”

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