EASA U-Space proposals require competitors to exchange tracking data

European UTM service providers will have set up systems to exchange drone traffic identification, tracking and flight authorizations as part of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Commission final first proposals for a U-space regulatory framework, issued on 4 July 2019.

Other proposals are that manned aircraft operators entering in restricted U-space airspace shall communicate to the U-space service providers the intent, estimated and actual operations .

This initial draft is submitted for comments and feedback by 21 July.

This focused consultation is part of the EASA internal process to consult all the relevant stakeholders in advance of the draft EASA Opinion that will be submitted for formal consultation with the EASA advisory bodies in September.

Among some of the key provisions are that:

  • ATS providers, whose areas of responsibility coincide partially or entirely with the designated U-space airspace, shall provide the static and dynamic data and information and establish a coordination procedure with U-space service providers to exchange information
  • U-space service providers providing services in the same U-space airspace shall ensure that an inter U-space service provider platform is established between them. The inter U-space service provider platform shall enable the following information flows: the exchange of information between U-space service providers; the exchange of identification and tracking of the unmanned aircraft; and the dissemination of USSP flight authorisations, when required.
  • Aircraft operators and U-space service providers shall respect the following priority rules in their avoidance actions according to the order specified: aircraft with life-saving missions and special operations shall have priority over other air traffic; aircraft carrying passengers shall have priority over aircraft without passengers on board; manned aircraft shall have priority over unmanned aircraft, including in the missions referred to in (1); and BVLOS operations traffic shall have priority over VLOS operations.
  • Manned aircraft operators receiving permission to operate below the minima height for VFR flights in accordance with SERA.5005(f) or entering in restricted U-space airspace shall communicate to the U-space service providers the intent, estimated and actual operations when conducted in the U-space airspace which are within uncontrolled airspace.
  • And that the designated U-Space provider has the required net capital commensurate with the costs and risks associated with the provision of U-space services and it has a robust business plan indicating that it can meet its actual obligations to provide its services in a continuous manner for a period of twelve months from the start of operations.

The full draft is outlined below.

Initial draft Regulation on U-space

1.       This Regulation lays down rules and procedures for the establishment of the U-space and for the provision of U-space services.

2.       This Regulation shall apply to:

(a)    manned and unmanned aircraft and respective operators that operate; and

(b)   U-space service providers that deliver services;

in the U-space airspace designated as such by Member States.

3.       Notwithstanding paragraph 2(a), this Regulation shall not apply to operators that fly unmanned aircraft in accordance with the limitations for the open category of operations set-out in Commission Implementation Regulation (EU) 2019/947, unless the national competent authority decides to make this regulation applicable to operators operating certain classes of unmanned aircraft in the open category, for safety reasons and in accordance with the following criteria:

(a)    Ground and air risk;

(b)   Social acceptability as regards the expected impact on environment and privacy;

(c)    Expected demand for air traffic and for types of operations; and

(d)   Efficiency considerations.

 

Article 2

Objectives

 

The objectives of this regulation are:

(a)      to support safe, secure and environmentally friendly operations of aircraft in the U-space airspace and to respect the privacy of European citizens;

(b)     to create the conditions for an internal market for U-space services; and

(c)      to ensure fair and affordable access to the U-space airspace.

 

Article 3

Definitions

 

For the purpose of this Regulation the following definitions apply:

1.               ‘Flight information management service’ means a service enabling the exchange of data and information necessary to facilitate operations in the U-space airspace;

2.              ‘Automatic operation’ means an operation following pre-programmed instructions that the UAS executes while the remote pilot is able to intervene at any time;

3.               ‘Open communication protocols’ means a set of publicly available rules generally supported by industry standards that allow two or more entities of a system to communicate to each other. The protocol defines the rules, syntax, semantics and synchronisation of communication and possible error recovery methods;

4.               ‘Principal place of business’ means the head office or registered office of the organisation within which the principal financial functions and operational control of the activities referred to in this Regulation are exercised;

5.              ‘Quality of service’ means the degree to which a set of inherent service characteristics fulfils specific requirements;

6.                ‘U-space airspace’ means the airspace structure/volume designated by the MS where U-space services are provided or where certain capabilities and actions from the unmanned aircraft operators are required or both.

7.              ‘U-space services’ means the provision of the required data and information in order to keep the aircraft operations safe and in accordance with the applicable requirements.

8.               ‘Restricted areas’ means an airspace structure within which the flight of aircraft is restricted by the Member States in accordance with certain specified conditions;

 

Chapter II – Establishment of the U-space

NOTE to article 4

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.2.1

 

Article 4

Designation of the U-space airspace

1.              Member States shall designate one or more U-space airspaces.

2.              Member States shall coordinate whenever the U-space airspace concern an airspace over more than one Member State.

3.              The designated U-space airspaces under paragraph (1) shall be communicated as restricted areas in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 2150/2005.

4.              The Member States shall impose the necessary safety and environmental performance objectives in the designated U-space airspace.

 

Article 5

Obligations of Air Traffic Services (ATS) providers

ATS providers, whose areas of responsibility coincide partially or entirely with the designated U-space airspace, shall:

1.       provide the static and dynamic data and information listed in article 6; and

2.       establish a coordination procedure with U-space service providers to exchange information.

 

NOTE to both Article 6 below

Please refer to the explanatory note on the “availability of the information” in 1.4.2.2. Due to the options proposed, this article contains both terms “Common information service provider” OR “Flight information management system manager”. Option 1 is the preferred option by EASA

Article 6

(Option 1)

Common information service provider OR Flight information management system manager

 

1.       Member States shall ensure that the Common information service (CIS) / Flight information management system (FIMS) is:

(a)    provided by an entity that is certified and designated by the Member States on an exclusive basis in a defined area of responsibility; and

(b)   available and provides the information listed in (4) with the necessary quality, integrity and continuity requirements.

2.       The CIS provider OR FIMS manager shall:

(a)    support the necessary capacity of aircraft, aircraft operators and U-space service providers in the U-space airspace; and

(b)   provide transparency of operations at all times so as to ensure safety, security and efficiency and use open standard communication protocols to allow fair and sustainable competition between U-Space service providers;

3.       The CIS provider OR FIMS manager shall enable the sharing of static and dynamic data and information that shall be commonly used by U-space service providers providing services in the U-space airspace designated in accordance with article 4.

4.       The CIS provider or the FIMS manager shall provide the relevant minimum information at all times:

(a)    horizontal and vertical limits of the airspace structure;

(b)   the allocation of airspace to airspace users;

(c)    the applicable airspace constraints;

(d)   the relevant information with neighbouring U-space airspace designated by other Member States;

(e)   the connectivity methods and constraints within the inter-U-space service provider platform;

(f)     the information from ATM/ANS service providers, when required;

(g)    access points for information on operations as required; and

(h)   the list of all the publicly known authorities that can be contacted in relation with the CIS/FIMS.

5.       The CIS provider or the FIMS manager shall ensure that the proper arrangements with neighbouring CIS providers/FIMS managers are in place to ensure the continuity of the services.

6.       The information in (4) shall be made publicly available on the basis of open communication protocol into the inter U-space service provider platform referred to in article 6.

7.       The CIS provider or the FIMS manager shall abstain from providing U-Space services.

 

Article 6

(Option 2)

Common Information Function (CIF)

1.       Through a common information function, Member States shall establish and make available the minimum set of static or dynamic data deemed necessary for the provision of U-space services, in particular, information on:

(a)    horizontal and vertical limits of the volume of airspace;

(b)   the allocation of airspace to airspace users;

(c)    the applicable airspace constraints;

(d)   the relevant information with neighbouring U-space airspace;

(e)   the connectivity methods and constraints between the U-space actors referred to in chapter III.

2.       The information in (1) shall be made publicly available on the basis of open communication protocol into the inter U-space service provider platform referred to in article 6.

 

Note to article 7

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.2.3.

 

Article 7

The inter U-space service provider platform

 

1.       U-space service providers providing services in the same U-space airspace shall ensure that an inter U-space service provider platform is established between them.

2.       The inter U-space service provider platform shall enable the following information flows:

(a)    The exchange of information between U-space service providers;

(b)   The exchange of identification and tracking of the unmanned aircraft; and

(c)    The dissemination of USSP flight authorisations, when required.

 

Note to article 8

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.2.4.

 

Article 8

(option 1)

U-space airspace classification

 

Airspace classes as proposed in the CORUS airspace types in the intermediate Concept of Operations for U-space.

X: No conflict resolution service is offered.

Y: Only pre-flight conflict resolution is offered.

Z: Pre-flight conflict resolution and in flight separation are offered.

 

Article 8

(option 2)

U-space airspace classification

 

Airspace classes as proposed in A1.1.4 (VLL TRAFFIC CLASSES) the UAS UTM integration operational concept of EUROCONTROL (see page 30): https://www.eurocontrol.int/sites/default/files/publication/files/uas-atm-integration-operational-concept-v1.0-release%2020181128.pdf

 

 

Article 8

(option 3)

U-space airspace classification

 

Airspace classes as proposed by EASA:

Ua (U-space airspace class a):

·         Services to be provided/utilised:

o   Geo-awareness

o   E-identification

o   Authorisation

o   Traffic information

·         Requirements to the unmanned aircraft and its operator

o   Flight planning and intent, prior submission and approval required

o   Capability to provide current 3D position

·         Type of flights/operations

o   VLOS

o   BVLOS

·         Applicability environmental restrictions

o   Yes

o   No

 

Ub (U-space airspace class b):

·         Services to be provided/utilised:

o   Geo-awareness

o   E-identification

o   Traffic information

·         Requirements to the unmanned aircraft and its operator

o   Flight planning and intent, prior submission

o   Capability to provide current 3D position

·         Type of flights/operations

o   VLOS

o   BVLOS

·         Applicability environmental restrictions

o   Yes

 

Uc (U-space airspace class c):

·         Services to be provided/utilised:

o   Geo-awareness

o   E-identification

·         Requirements to the unmanned aircraft and its operator

o   Capability to provide current 3D position

·         Type of flights/operations

o   VLOS

·         Applicability environmental restrictions

o   No

 

Note to article 9

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.2.5

 

Article 9

Flight rules

 

[TBD]

 

Article 10

Priority rules

 

Aircraft operators and U-space service providers shall respect the following priority rules in their avoidance actions according to the order specified below:

1.       aircraft with life-saving missions and special operations shall have priority over other air traffic;

2.       aircraft carrying passengers shall have priority over aircraft without passengers on board;

3.       manned aircraft shall have priority over unmanned aircraft, including in the missions referred to in (1);  and

4.       BVLOS operations traffic shall have priority over VLOS operations.

 

Chapter III – Actors in the U-space

 

Note to articles 11 & 12

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.3.1

 

Article 11

Unmanned aircraft operators

1.       When operating in the U-space airspace, unmanned aircraft operators shall:

(a)    comply with the applicable performance requirements;

(b)   ensure that their aircraft has the proper connectivity and can exchange the required information; and

(c)    disseminate the flight plan in accordance with the applicable requirements for the U-space airspace class.

2.       Unmanned aircraft operators shall avail themselves of U-space services in accordance with the risk of the operations. To that extent, they shall make the necessary arrangements, namely service level agreements, with the U-space service providers of their choice.

3.       The unmanned aircraft operator shall give U-space service providers access to the relevant registration information.

4.       Unmanned aircraft operators operating in the U-space airspace shall be identified therein with a unique identifier. The unique identifier shall enable, as a minimum, the verification of the relevant information on the UAS aircraft and the UAS operator in accordance with the registration system for UAS’s operators established in article 14 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

 

Article 12

Manned aircraft operators

Manned aircraft operators receiving permission to operate below the minima height for VFR flights in accordance with SERA.5005(f) or entering in restricted U-space airspace shall communicate to the U-space service providers the intent, estimated and actual operations when conducted in the U-space airspace which are within uncontrolled airspace.

 

Note to article 13

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.3.2.

 

Article 13

U-space service providers

1.       U-space service providers shall be responsible for the quality of the services delivered in accordance with this Regulation.

2.       U-space service providers shall comply with applicable privacy and data protection regulations and shall only store or process information about the aircraft operations when necessary for safety, occurrences investigation and operational purposes.

3.       U-space service providers shall treat air traffic data equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender or receiver, content, application or service, or terminal equipment and shall act in accordance with the applicable requirements in the U-space airspace.

4.       U-space service providers shall ensure that the information on the identification of the aircraft is made available to:

(a)    the general public as regards information that is deemed public in accordance with applicable rules;

(b)   other U-space service providers in other to ensure safety of operations in the U-space airspace; and

(c)    the relevant national competent authorities.

5.       U-space service providers shall adhere to the open standard communication protocol requirements and use the latest information available from the CIS (FIMS)/CIF.

6.       U-space service providers shall establish a coordination procedure with other U-space service providers operating in the same U-space airspace through the inter- U-space service provider platform, in order to ensure connectivity and situational awareness.

7.       U-space service providers shall establish a coordination procedure with ATS providers which areas of responsibilities coincide partially or entirely with the U-space airspace provided.

8.       U-space service providers shall ensure:

(a)    the storage of any data and information relevant for the functioning of the CIS (FIMS)/CIF; and

(b)   the conditions of access to the records referred to in (a).

Article 14
Service level agreements

1.       U-space service providers shall establish the necessary contractual arrangements, namely service level agreements, with the aircraft operators covering the set of U-space services they provide and taking due account of the applicable performance objectives and the operational risks of the type of operation.

2.       U-space service providers shall establish the necessary contractual arrangements, namely service level agreements with other service providers from which they receive services needed to deliver end-to-end services to aircraft operators.

3.       Such contractual arrangements shall indicate the quality of the services provided in view of the type and complexity of the operations and in view of the applicable performance requirements.

 

Chapter IV – U-space services

 

Note to article 15

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.4.

Article 15
U-space services

1.       Member States shall ensure that the U-space services defined in this Article are provided in the U-space airspace, in accordance with the U-space airspace classification set forth in article 8 of this Regulation.

(a)    The E-identification service shall provide information to authorised users that correlates the position of the unmanned aircraft with its operator’s registration and the flight intent.

(b)   The geo-awareness service shall provide geo-fence and other flight restriction information to unmanned aircraft pilots and operators for their consultation, in particular information related to the operational conditions for UAS geographical zones established in accordance with article 15 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/247 and the relevant data from the CIS (FIMS)/CIF to support the operator geo-awareness where it is allowed to fly and where not.

(c)    The traffic information service provides air traffic situation in the proximity of the actual position of the aircraft as well as alerts to the aircraft operator as well as information about other aircraft operations.

(d)   When required, the flight authorisation service shall authorise the unmanned aircraft to proceed under the conditions specified by the U-space service providers in the airspace where authorisation is mandated.

2.       Where deemed necessary to ensure safe, secure and environmental friendly operations, national competent authorities shall determine other U-space services taking into account the:

(a)    demand of UAS operators and aircraft operators, the type of operations, the density and the complexity of the traffic;

(b)   specific performance requirements for aircraft to be operated

(c)    interests and needs of specific authorities, including State aircraft operations;

(d)   ground and air risks;

(e)   risk of airspace infringement;

(f)     operational conditions for UAS geographical zones established in accordance with article 15 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/945;

(g)    access conditions for UAS operations and their classes as defined in Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/945;

 

Chapter V – U-space service providers certification

Note to Chapter V

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.5.

 

Article 16

Application for a U-space service provider certificate

 

1.       U-space service providers are required to hold a certificate issued by the national competent authority located in the Member State of its principal place of business or by the Agency.

2.       An application for a U-space service provider certificate or for an amendment to an existing certificate shall be made in a form and manner established by the competent authority located in the Member State of its principal place of business or by the Agency, when applicable.

3.       In order to obtain the certificate, U-space service providers shall comply with the requirements set out in this Regulation.

 

Article 17

Conditions for obtaining a certificate

 

A U-space service provider shall be granted a certificate by the competent authority of its principal place of business or by the Agency, provided that it demonstrates that:

1.       it has the competences to provide U-space services, demonstrated in accordance with this Regulation;

2.       it uses systems and equipment that guarantee accuracy, integrity, consistency and timeliness of communications in function of the required capabilities of the U-space services in accordance with this Regulation;

3.       it has the required net capital commensurate with the costs and risks associated with the provision of U-space services; Manned aircraft operators receiving permission to operate below the minima height for VFR flights in accordance with SERA.5005(f) or entering in restricted U-space airspace shall communicate to the U-space service providers the intent, estimated and actual operations when conducted in the U-space airspace which are within uncontrolled airspace

4.       it has a management system, in accordance with Subpart B of Annex III to Regulation (EU) 2017/373, and covering all the requirements of this Regulation;

5.       it has a robust business plan indicating that it can meet its actual obligations to provide its services in a continuous manner for a period of twelve months from the start of operations; and

6.       it has the required liability and insurance cover appropriate to the risk of the service they provide.

 

Article 18

Validity of U-space service provider certificate

 

1.       A U-space service provider certificate shall remain valid as long as the U-space service provider complies with the requirements set out in this Regulation.

2.       A U-space service provider certificate shall not remain valid if it has:

(a)    not started operations within six months after having received the certificate; or

(b)   ceased operations for more than nine consecutive months.

3.       The national competent authority or the Agency may at any time assess the operational or financial performance of a U-space service provider under its jurisdiction.

4.       The national competent authority or the Agency may, after a substantial assessment of the operational or financial capacity of the U-space service provider, impose particular conditions, suspend or revoke the certificate.

 

Chapter VI – Competent authorities

Note to chapter VI

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.6

 

Article 19

Designation of the competent authority

1.              Member States shall designate one or more competent authorities to implement this Regulation and, in particular, to:

(a)           define the manner for an organisation to apply for a U-space service providers certificate and validity of it in accordance with Chapter V;

(b)          define the roles and responsibilities of local authorities with regard to the designation of airspace and airspace restrictions for unmanned aircraft and for the determination of the U-space services provided in the urban environment;

(c)           perform a market analysis and assessment of dominance in the market; and

(d)           assess the appropriate use of U-space market data, in particular in view of the application of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on General Data Protection Regulation.

2.           The competent authority and the Agency shall:

(a)           have a suitable organisational structure, appropriately documented procedures, and adequate resources; and

(b)          employ or have access to personnel with sufficient knowledge, professional integrity, as well as experience and training to perform their allocated tasks.

3.              Member States shall ensure that the competent authority personnel do not perform activities related to this Regulation when there is evidence that this could result, directly or indirectly, in a conflict of interest, in particular when related to their family or financial interests.

4.              The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) shall act as the competent authority for organisations providing U-space services in more than one Member State  and for U-space service providers established outside of EU and providing services within its territory, in accordance with Article 80(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 2018/1139.

 

Article 20

Tasks of the competent authorities

1.       The competent authorities and the Agency in charge of the certification, monitoring and oversight of the U-space service providers shall:

(a)    establish a certification and continuous oversight programme which is risk-based and commensurate with the risk associated to the services being provided by the U-space service providers under their oversight responsibility;

(b)   require the U-space service providers to provide all necessary information to ensure that the provision of U-space services contribute to safe, secure and environmental friendly operations of aircraft;

(c)    be allowed to enter any premises of the U-space service provider under its oversight;

(d)   carry out audits, assessments, investigations and inspections of those U-space service providers as established in the oversight programme.

2.       The tasks provided for in paragraphs 1 shall be exercised in compliance with the national law of the Member State where the activities in question take place, with due regard for the need to ensure the effective exercise of those powers and for the rights and legitimate interests of the U-space service providers concerned.

3.       The competent authorities and the Agency shall take or initiate any appropriate enforcement measure necessary to ensure that the U-space service providers under their oversight, comply and continue to comply with the requirements of this Regulation.

 

Article 21

Tasks of local authorities

Local authorities shall establish and provide the applicable restrictions concerning environment, security and privacy for the U-space airspace under their jurisdiction or supervision.

 

Article 22

Exchange of safety information and safety measures

1.              The competent authorities and the Agency shall cooperate on safety matters, and establish procedures for an efficient exchange of safety information.

2.              The competent authorities and the Agency shall collect, analyse and disseminate safety information concerning operations in the U-space airspace in their territory in accordance with this Regulation.

3.              Upon receiving safety information, the competent authorities or the Agency for their respective domain of competence, shall take appropriate measures to address any arising or latent safety issues.

4.              Such measures shall immediately be notified to all persons or organisations that need to comply with such measures under Regulation (EU) No 2018/1139 and its implementing rules. The competent authorities shall also notify those measures to the Agency.

Chapter VII – Pricing of U-space services

Note to chapter VII

Please refer to the explanatory note in section 1.4.7

 

Article 23

Pricing freedom

 

1.       The financing of U-space services shall not be subject to Regulation (EU) 2019/317 of 11 February 2019 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services.

2.       Member States shall ensure that the cost for U-space services is not passed on to airspace users that are subject to Regulation (EU) 2019/317 of 11 February 2019.

3.       U-space service providers are free to set prices for their services and shall offer aircraft operators a package of end-to-end services in function of the type of operation.

4.       U-space service providers shall communicate in a transparent way on the price of the package.

 

Article 24

Fee regulation

 

1.       The national competent authorities shall ensure that the fees for the CIS (FIMS)/CIF are subject to price regulation and are proportionate to the costs of the service provided, based on data volume, number of operators, with due consideration to the objectives of safety and economic efficiency.

2.       User charges from ATM/ANS providers for air traffic information shall be proportionate to the cost, taking into consideration the objectives of safety and economic efficiency.

 

Chapter VIII – Final provisions

 

Article 25

Entry into force and applicability

 

1.       This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

2.       This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and applicable in all Member States 1 year after its entry into force.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information

https://www.easa.europa.eu/the-agency/the-agency

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