EU rules on the creation of a special airspace for drones, known as a Drone Airspace, come into force today. U-space, which will allow operators to provide a wider range of services. U-space creates the right conditions for both Drone and manned aircraft to operate safely, and will allow the industry to continue to expand the market for Drone industry and services.
It is worth noting that the new rules will help to conduct more complex operations at greater distances, in particular at low altitude and in high-traffic airspace, as well as at distances out of visual contact with the B-VLOS pilot. These operations can cover vital services, for example transporting medical samples, assisting rescuers at emergency scenes, but also remote infrastructure inspections. In April 2021, the Commission adopted the legal framework for this unmanned vehicle traffic management system. This is a unique concept for Europe, first developed in 2016 and demonstrates the EU’s leadership in this field.
In the next steps, Member States will define their respective U-space airspaces and service providers, while working on information exchange and performance standards in the field of navigation. These technological developments will gradually support the full realisation of U-space by 2030, as foreseen in the Drone 2.0 strategy, and may lead to innovative air mobility services, such as fully automated passenger transport services.
Transport Commissioner Mrs. Adina Valjean said:
“As demonstrated in the recently adopted Drone 2.0 strategy, they are clearly part of the future transport and logistics landscape. There is huge potential for future cargo and delivery services, as well as other innovative applications, including Drone flights with passengers. The start of the development of the U-space is an important step towards creating the operational, reliable, secure and enabling environment we need to develop a competitive EU market for drone services, and I am pleased that several Member States have already started projects and their implementation.”