The regional Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) has joined with Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network to transform Lleida-Alguaire Airport into a European centre of excellence for advancing Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) innovation, according to an Inmarsat press release.
“Situated approximately 5 miles (8 kilometres) from the city of Lleida, Lleida-Alguaire Airport is making its runway, full aerodrome and air traffic control services available to ground-breaking advanced air mobility research programmes,” said the company. “With recent estimates anticipating 40 times more commercial uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be flying beyond visual line-of-sight by 2030 than commercial aircraft, Lleida stands to make a significant and positive contribution towards alleviating the air traffic capacity crunch.
“With its new status as a centre of excellence, the airport’s partnership with Inmarsat will drive investment and bring more businesses to the local economy of Lleida and the wider region by attracting the aeronautical industry to the area – leading to job creation in the region. As part of Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network, a consortium of partners will offer their research expertise to the hub, fostering international cooperation throughout Europe and beyond.
“Designed and developed specifically for the commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) sector, Inmarsat Velaris combines a reliable and totally scalable Command and Control (C2) service with transformative software and services from the Inmarsat Velaris Partners, made up of some of the biggest names in the industry.
“By bringing together research of ATM and UTM technologies, and integrating it with the aeronautical industry, regulators and local government, Inmarsat and Lleida-Alguaire Airport can deliver on their shared goal of bringing societal, environmental and commercial benefits of advanced air mobility to the region….In a move from theory to practice, research conducted by Inmarsat and its partners will take place in instalments up to four times per year in the form of real-life, practical demonstrations, as opposed to theoretical whitepapers and academic study, and will have numerous real-world applications. The efforts made to transform tests and theories into fully-fledged technologies will help to alleviate the major issues facing the aviation industry, particularly the capacity crunch and the problem of fragmented airspace.”