EU-China APP Drone Workshop highlights UTM progress in China

Details on the development of China’s Civil UAS Aviation Operation Management System (UOMS) have been published  by Blyenburgh & Co as part of the proceedings of the recent EU-China APP Drone Workshop , which was held between 6-8 June 2018 in Shenzhen, China. In a presentation by Dr Jianping Zhang, of the ATM Engineering Technical Research Institute, Civil Aviation Administration of China ( the UOMS UTM traffic management system will be integrated within the CAAC’s General Aviation Flight Service (GAFS) system and current ATM system.

According to the presentation: “Information exchange between GAFS and UOMS should be based on the principle of “complete exchange” as follows: GAFS should transmit to the UOMS all general aviation flight plans and real-time flight data….UOMS should transmit to GAFS all flight plans (except open operations) received by UOMS and real-time UAS flight data. In terms of linking the UOMS network to the ATM system: “Current ATM should transmit to UOMS the flight path of the transport aircraft in terminal (approach) control area, in order to provide the basis for the required task approval and real-time collision risk alarm for UOMS. Due to natural physical isolation, ATM does not need to transmit the en-route flight path of the commercial flight. UOMS should transmit to current ATM all flight plans (except open operations) received by UOMS and real-time UAS flight data, including real-time latitude and longitude, altitude, speed, course, flight identification and so on.”

Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) operations in China are supported by three types of ground control stations – take-off, en-route and landing. “Ground stations and current ATM control systems interact through the link relay of the RPAS itself. The RPAS switches over multiple crews (ground station control team) during operation.”

Work underway to progress the development of the UOMS network includes drawing up standard specfications for the data interface between the U-cloud – where drone flight information is stored – and UAS operations and developing a geo-fencing system which will be built into the flight control system. According to Zheng Zhigang of standards authority CASTC, in a further presentation, the geo-fencing system is based on Real Time Kinematics (RTK) high precision-positioning techniques.

Three major UTM trials are underway :

  • In Shenzhen the UAS Traffic Management Information Service System (UTMISS) trial has begun.
  • In Jiangxi, the UAS cloud systems for small UAS management, unmanned cargo flight trials and large UAS trials are underway.
  • In Sanya, information sharing between GAFS and UOMS is taking place.

The EU-China APP programme seeks to develop closer cooperation between EASA and the CAAC. Initiated on 15 September 2015, the EU-China APP has a duration of five years (2015-2020) and an EU budget of EUR 10 million.

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