GUTMA Annual Conference will be a vital waypoint for the UTM industry

“We are at a defining moment for the industry,” says Benoit Curdy, Secretary General, Global UTM Association (GUTMA), “and the association’s annual conference will be a vital waypoint in determining how we move forward over the next few years.”

This year’s GUTMA Annual Conference will take place on June 5-6, 2018 at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid at a time when air navigation service providers around the world are implementing the first iterations of UAS traffic management systems. The first wave of demonstrations and trials of UTM technologies is coming to an end and the first implementation phase is about to begin.

“The future has started to become clearer,” says Benoit Curdy. “The goal of UTM is to allow people to fly and we can now see that issues such as specific operations risk assessment (SORA) have become the key to complex drone operations. But it is very hard to do and that’s why SORA will be one of the key discussion areas at the annual conference. It is also becoming clear that UTM will be important for more than just unmanned aircraft operators – we have interest from the World Air Sports Federation, for example, who are considering UTM as a way to improve their efficiency. We are at a stage where many different aviation stakeholders are taking an interest. And we also have to discuss how to involve local authorities, the police and other local organisations. We have to find the best ways to communicate with them, understand their needs, so that’s why we are involving local police forces in the event, as a step in this direction.”

Other discussion points (see conference agenda below) will explore access to high value/high density airspace, interoperable registries and how local and networked solutions can be developed for identification, flight management, tracking and detect-and-avoid requirements.

Along with high level speakers from all sides of the industry there will be major product and services announcements. The conference has been structured so attendees will have many opportunities to meet leading UTM stakeholders and a chance to shape the agenda of the association, as the outputs of the conference will be used to inform GUTMA activities in the year to come.

But for the UTM industry – and the drone operators it supports – the next twelve months will be critical to the establishment of long-term safe, efficient and sustainable UTM networks.

“If you take beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations, for example,” says Benoit Curdy,” in the USA currently around 99% of all BVLOS authorisation requests are rejected[1]. But that means BVLOS is not impossible any more. That one per cent which are approved provides something to build on. It means we have to move over the next year from one per cent to 10%, for example. Services will be running. So we are now at the stage of implementation.”

The GUTMA annual conference agenda


Day 1

The first day will tackle some of the immediate hard challenges facing UTM – for example

·         Defining how UTM services can best support the digitalization of airspace risk assessment (SORA),

·         Interoperable registries

·         Proposing promising mechanisms to ensure safe and efficient access to high-value/high-density airspace, and

·         Exploring how UTM could soon also be used for manned operations.

Day 2

The day will start with a live UTM demo organized by two Spanish members: EVERIS and ENAIRE.

After discussing the demonstration delegates will discuss local UTM concerns such as:

·         The role of local authorities in UTM and

·         Drones as a key part of Smart City eco systems and

·         Local and networked solutions


The GUTMA Annual Conference is co-organised with everis Spain S.L.U. The everis Group’s Aerospace and Defence Division offers global solutions for implementing critical systems in aerospace, defence, security and simulation sectors, integrating reliable and innovative technologies though proprietary development and through the SMEs with which the Group has strategic alliances as leading partners.

The Global UTM Association (GUTMA) is a non-profit consortium of worldwide Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) stakeholders. Its purpose is to foster the safe, secure and efficient integration of drones in national airspace systems. Its mission is to support and accelerate the transparent implementation of globally interoperable UTM systems. GUTMA members collaborate remotely.



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