The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) have announced a request for information (RFI) on traffic management systems for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
As UAS operations become more complex and are increasingly used for both commercial and recreational purposes, UAS traffic management systems, or UTMs, are necessary to integrate UAS into the airspace and existing air traffic management systems.
According to the agencies, ICAO will solicit proposals for a global framework for UTM ahead of its DRONE ENABLE UAS Industry Symposium, which will take place in Montreal in September.
“ICAO is the natural agency to be gathering together the best and brightest from governments and industry to define the problem so that global solutions can be proposed, debated and agreed,” says Leslie Cary, remotely piloted aircraft systems program manager at ICAO.
An operational UTM will ensure the safe and efficient use of the airspace as UAS operations become more complex, such as with established navigation routes and point-to-point route segments requiring specific equipage requirements. UTM will integrate UAS into the existing airspace infrastructure to ensure the continued safety of the airspace.
“Collaboration between stakeholders is key to addressing complex issues such as UTM,” adds Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. “AUVSI is pleased ICAO is taking steps to explore solutions for UTM that will allow companies to operate globally under the same standards, reducing barriers to innovation and improving safety and security for all aircraft – both manned and unmanned. We look forward to working with ICAO to draw awareness and facilitate industry engagement in the RFI process.”