The chair

Established in 2015 and renewed in 2019, The ENAC – Groupe ADP – Sopra Steria Research Chair on Drone Systems is led by ENAC through its Foundation.

With an initial duration of 3 years it is the first European chair to address the problem of drones integration in airspace.

The Chair is incorporated within ENAC research Lab through its Foundation. It benefits from a rich technical and academic environment, dedicated exclusively to the areas of aeronautics and air transport.

Facilitating the safe use of civilian drones

The work of the Chair’s researchers, in collaboration with the ENAC research teams, facilitates the development of standards, regulations and technologies for the safe use of drone systems, with the aim of facilitating civilian use of Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) in a national and international framework.
The Chair enhances communication and the exchange of ideas between the partner companies and ENAC’s student population: Air Traffic Controllers, Civil Aviation MSc, Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel…
Finally, the Chair facilitates the dissemination of its work results through publications to large audiences (students, company members, officials, etc.) and the organization of symposium and workshops, contributing to the rule-making efforts in the field of civil UAS.

An innovative and renowned research program

Since 2005, the drones research program developed by ENAC (French civil aviation institute delivering training in avionics, ground systems, air traffic control, surveillance and navigation) deals with UAS related themes in a global and integrated way. ENAC has developed an “open source” UAV autopilot, used today by research labs and companies worldwide. Visit for more info.
ENAC also collaborates with DGAC, the French civil aviation authority, for the development and implementation of operational procedures as first steps towards the integration of drones in civil controlled airspace.

Two philanthropic patrons convinced by this ambitious project

Edward Arkwright, Executive Director of the ADP Group:

« With this new component of the UAV Systems Chair, we will continue our commitment as a sponsor to develop new cases of use in airports, particularly in the service of operational efficiency. All the experiments that can be developed on the ADP Group’s local and international platforms will make it possible to accelerate research alongside our partners and validate new operational concepts. Our objective is to create the appropriate conditions for greater integration of UAVs into airspace. »

Patrick Loyer, Director of Sopra Steria’s Air Traffic Management activities:

« For many years, Sopra Steria has consolidated its innovation strategy through strong partnerships with education and research players in France, in particular with ENAC. In order to continue our commitment to the integration of UAVs in the service of an emerging economy, particularly in urban and airport areas, we wanted to support ENAC in this philanthropic action. We are convinced that this Chair will make it possible to improve the safety and operational performance of drones and to improve the acceptability of drones in urban environments. »

The Chair sponsors

The Groupe ADP’s ambition is to become a world leader in airport design, construction and operation and is now in the trio of top airport managers in the world. It manages, directly or indirectly, 34 airports that welcomed nearly 252 million passengers in 2015.

Groupe ADP values and exports its skills developed over many years within the framework of airport development and management through two of its subsidiaries: ADP Ingénierie, which designs and builds international airports and ADP Management, which takes out participations In certain airports abroad and ensures their operation.

Sopra Steria, a European leader in digital transformation, provides one of the most comprehensive portfolios of offerings on the market, spanning consulting, systems integration, industry-specific solutions, infrastructure management and business process services. It provides end-to-end solutions to address the core business needs of large companies and organisations, helping them remain competitive and grow. Combining added value with innovative high-performance services, Sopra Steria excels in guiding its clients through their transformation projects to help them make the most of digital technology.
With nearly 42,000 employees in more than 20 countries, Sopra Steria generated revenue of €3.8 billion in 2017.