ISO “takes next step to develop UTM service provider and vertiport global standards”

ISO Technical Committee 20/SC16 has decided to develop draft international standards (DIS) for UAS traffic management service suppliers (USSs) (ISO 23629-12) and vertiport operations (5015-2), according to technical committee member Filippo Tomasello in a EuroUSC Italia social media broadcast (

The DIS stage is a milestone in ISO standards development, where the draft standard proposed by a small working group is then developed into a formalised written proposal for evaluation by all member-state standards body representatives  – in the case of technical committee 20/SC16, 30 states comprising around 150 experts.

According to Filippo Tamesello there will be two benefits from the development of ISO standards in these areas. First, USSs will be able to use a single standard for service provision globally: “a common benchmark which will allow service providers the opportunity of offering their services anywhere in the world,” he said. It will also allow for the rapid expansion of the market, so USSs can expand their operations more easily to meet market demand.

ISO founded its technical subcommittee ISO/TC 20/SC 16Unmanned aircraft systems in 2015 to develop the ISO 21384 series for UAS standards on safety and quality for product manufacture, operations and unmanned traffic management,

According to the ISO website:

ISO 21384-3Unmanned aircraft systems – Part 3: Operational procedures, was the first International Standard on UAS to be published in December 2019. It was developed by ISO/TC 20/SC 16 working group WG 3, Operations and procedures, convened by (Robert) Garbett, who is also Chairman of the BSI Committee for UK Drone Standards and founder of the Drone Delivery Group. John Walker, the Chair of ISO/TC 20/SC 16, has oversight of all standards being published within the subcommittee and, with the support of the Committee Manager Chris Carnahan.”

“Frank Fuchs, an international aviation law adviser and Convenor of ISO/TC 20/SC 16’s working group WG 1, which has developed ISO 21384-4Unmanned aircraft system – Part 4: Vocabulary, says: “The COVID-19 crisis offered ample opportunity for UAS systems to prove themselves as technological systems that offer support for society and help protect human lives. Using UAS in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 infections showed that the use of UAS is very sensible when dealing with such a pandemic.”

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