A European consortium in Shannon, Ireland is to host a series of tests and demonstrations for drones operating using an aerial unmanned traffic management system.
The three year EALU-AER (Irish for Escape-Air, Enhanced Automation for U-Space / ATM integration) project is being coordinated by Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) to develop, deploy and optimise Europe’s unmanned flight ecosystem.
The SESAR 3 (Single European Sky ATM Research) project involves Irish and European partners including Shannon Group, the Irish Aviation Authority, Collins Aerospace (Ireland and France), Dublin-based Avtrain, and Deepblue in Italy.
Work will be based at FMCI’s Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) Research Test and Development Facilities at Shannon Airport and use a network of AAMroutes across Ireland.
The project will aims to build an end-to-end ecosystem that supports safe operation of unmanned flights, to help both conventional and unmanned aircraft safely integrate operations.
Russell Vickers, CEO of Future Mobility Campus Ireland said, “FMCI couldn’t be more pleased to be working with this consortium on the implementation of the EALU-AER programme. This will result in developing and building-out the critical infrastructure to allow advanced air mobility proliferate across Europe.
“It will secure access to airspace for large numbers of drones and eVTOL aircraft, resulting in safe, cost-effective and sustainable transport of freight and people in the future.”
Mary Considine, CEO of Shannon Group said, “This is exciting initiative in unpiloted aviation management. Shannon Airport has been at the forefront of innovation over many decades, and it is essential that we help facilitate and participate in developing the new technology and processes that will allow unpiloted aviation to integrate with legacy airspace.”
Boe Svatek, unmanned systems value stream leader for Collins Aerospace said, “This award will help us work with our partners in Ireland to create a new industry that supports safe and connected unmanned flight. As a founding member of the SESAR 3 JU, Collins Aerospace is actively and practically supporting its quest to modernise European air traffic management.”
Julie Garland, CEO of Avtrain, a pilot and operator training and certification organisation said, “We are entering a new era of innovation where the success of the industry will depend on the integration of unmanned aircraft into our airspace, rather than the segregation of airspace.
“We look forward to working with Collins Aerospace, FMCI, Shannon Group and our partners in the project to move the industry to the next level” the CEO of Avtrain commented.
The FMCI has previously worked with Skyports, Avtrain, Shannon Group and Federal Express trialling freight delivery services using autonomous, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.