Latest efforts for the integration of drones into airspace, welcomed a relatively new concept called the ‘U-Space’. This approach has been injected to immediate plans at European level, to accommodate drones in urban areas.
A variety of organizations are working on the integration of drones in airspace. EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), leading the detailed design of regulations, is one of them. While EASA is searching for solutions for the integration of drones in a variety of presumed airspaces, commissioner Violeta Bulc mentions other pillars in high level conference ‘Drones as a leverage for jobs and new business oppotunities’ in Warsaw. She offers that in parallel to the efforts of EASA, two other pillars has to be tackled, UTM (UAS Traffic Management) and the U-Space.
U-Space covers the usage of drones especially in U-rban areas and equal share of airspace, in which case U stands for YOU. The sympathetic name riddles seems to be the search of public acceptance for drones in urban areas.
The goals are highly challenging by aiming the concept design in 6 months (the conference is held in November 2016) and an integration in 2019. Actually the rush shows itself not only in the timeline. EASA regulations already covering the space covered by U-Space, either under specific or certified categories(depending on the risk of the operation). By pointing the U-Space, a faster integration is prospected in urban areas.
It seems we are not far from the images of flying vehicles populating the sky as such in fictions. Even better then imagined, this time, without drivers and more automated. Hopefully the public acceptance is not superseded by the acceleration in technical designs and regulations. Not to end up with U for Upset.