Today, the European Commission is proposing an upgrade of the Single European Sky (SES) regulatory framework which comes on the heels of the European Green Deal. As part of the proposals, the Commission has published a staff working document which outlines its strategy for air navigation service providers (ANSPs) being able to provide both UAS traffic management (UTM) services and UTM technology services, such as the provision of Common Information Services (CIS).
According to the working paper:
“The SES ecosystem has evolved since the beginning of the initiative in 2004. The new users of the airspace are one of the significant changes. Unmanned aircraft, commonly called drones, are already delivering innovative services within the European airspace. Yet, these emerging technologies also present a challenge. The rising number of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in the European airspace poses safety, security and airspace integration issues. In order to ensure safe UAS traffic management while at the same time ensuring that those unmanned aircraft can safely operate within the existing air traffic environment in a harmonised way across the European airspace, there is a need to develop a robust regulatory framework….It is therefore necessary to establish requirements on the pricing, and related oversight, of the Common Information Services (CIS) that are needed to enable safe air traffic management of the unmanned traffic (i.e. drones), as well as on the pricing of and access to data necessary for such services. Those requirements should be similar to those relating to air traffic data services, namely that air navigation service providers must make data available at marginal cost. In addition, if an ANSP wishes to become a CIS provider, and in the interest of transparency and to avoid discrimination and cross-subsidisation, it should have separate accounts.
“If U-space services are provided under market conditions, then a single point of truth needs to be established on data to enable the dynamic reconfiguration of airspace intended for unmanned aircraft. For this, rules on common information services are necessary. This issue needs to be considered in the context of the ongoing work in the EASA Committee on the U-space regulation.”
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