Zaragoza, Spain has hosted a flight test campaign that for the first time in Europe simultaneously integrated three unmanned traffic management providers as part of the U-ELCOME unmanned drone project.
The U-ELCOME project, which is led by EUROCONTROL aims to help introduce unmanned airspace management technologies and processes into Europe, something the EU calls U-Space through a set of tests and demonstrations in various operational environments across 15 locations in Spain, Italy, and France.
Part of U-ELCOME aims to facilitate communication between Common Information Services (CISP) and USSPs (U-Space Service Providers) with their respective operators and communication between USSPs.
The tests carried out in Zaragoza successfully validated communications with the stakeholders involved. The U-space Service Providers (USSPs) participated in the same operation through the ENAIRE U-Hub platform, as an extended part of the (CISP). They also successfully validate the security of communications.
ENAIRE, the Galician Technological Institute (ITG), Aslogic, Umiles and Primecor have participated in this milestone for air navigation in the U-ELCOME project.
Isabel Buatas, head of Hera Drone Hub, one of the partners of the U-ELCOME project, said.”In this demo, an emergency use case was presented. During a routine drone flight operation, an emergency arises and the authority itself, National Police, City Council, Fire Department, can activate a secure volume within the ENAIRE platform, a CISP can enter that scenario, thus allowing them to communicate from the platform itself to the operators the situation so that they can leave that airspace free.”
The tests were attended by authorities representing the Regional Government of Aragon, Zaragoza City Council, Zaragoza Air Base, National Police and the Fire Brigade.
There were also representatives of the Aragon Logistics Cluster (ALIA), Mobility City, Bluenest and ELA Aviation, who lent their gyroplane for the testing. This support makes Zaragoza a suitable site to implement the U-space scenario as it can offer the complete ecosystem around advanced mobility.
“With initiatives and tests like this one, we want to defend and promote the future service activity that drones will provide, bringing the industrial ecosystem closer within a U-Space scenario that makes it a safe scenario.
“One of the objectives of the U-ELCOME project is for drones to share airspace with other legitimate users to obtain routine operations in 2026 that will generate new business models,” said Buatas.