“2.6 million commercial drone operations a day by 2020” – NASA

There will be 2.6 million commercial drone operations per day in 2020 flying in US airspace, compared to 50,000 manned aircraft operations today, according to Parimal Kopardekar, NASA manager of the Safe Autonomous Systems Operation project, speaking at the third annual Drone World Expo at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California.

The challenge facing governments is to deal with this potential traffic overload of the current air traffic management (ATM) system.

NASA’s UAS traffic management (UTM) concept is built on the concept of the automated sharing of identity and intent information and that will mean sharing this data between drone operators and air navigation service providers (ANSPs), networking flight plans and changes to airspace availability – so dynamic constraints can be immediately communicated to operators.

According to the current schedule NASA’s UTM technologies research and development is taking place in collaboration with the FAA and results of this research in the form of airspace integration requirements are expected to be transferred from NASA to the FAA in 2019 for their further testing.

See https://utm.arc.nasa.gov/

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