AUTHORITIES / UTM

How Scheduled Airspace Opens the Skies for UAS Operations

27 October 2020

AirMap and skyguide, the Swiss ANSP, recently launched a new capability: scheduled airspace. Using skyguide’s new web and mobile geo-awareness applications, UAS operators in Switzerland can now view activation schedules for specific airspace. It’s an exciting achievement that unlocks more of the airspace and gives operators greater access to the skies.

So What Exactly is Scheduled Airspace?

Airspace restrictions are not static: they can change according to the day, time, or season. Consider special use airspace, military training facilities, and industrial job sites, which are busy at various times throughout the day, but can be safely flown over when operations are inactive. Many UTM platforms are not dynamic enough to denote active and inactive temporal restrictions and supply operators with schedule information. As a result, other geo-awareness applications may wrongly label scheduled airspace restrictions as indefinite. This results in an inaccurate operating picture that limits UAS operators’ access to the airspace. The AirMap platform capability changes this by ensuring that operators can plan their flights according to schedule information.

Scheduled airspace enables use cases like these:

  • A commercial operator can perform asset inspections in controlled airspace based on when air traffic at a nearby airport is active/inactive.
  • A land surveyor can conduct assessments on property that’s below military training airspace outside of training hours.
  • A recreational operator can take photos during “golden hour” when special use airspace is inactive.
  • A delivery drone can navigate around industrial job sites during active work hours.

Scheduled Airspace Makes Flight Planning Easier

The AirMap platform converts authoritative airspace data into a 4D digital twin of the airspace. This airspace information is visible to UAS operators as they plan their missions with any AirMap-powered awareness application, including skyguide’s recently launched pilot applications. With scheduled airspace, UAS operators in Switzerland can view schedules affiliated with special use airspace, filter airspace advisories according to the date and time they are active, and plan safe and compliant UAS missions accordingly.

It’s Good for Authorities, Too

More accurate airspace information means a safer airspace system. With scheduled airspace, ANSPs and CAAs can trust that UAS operators see the right information at the right time and can deconflict strategically before ever taking off.

Scheduled airspace also means more UAS enablement. Wrongly labeling scheduled airspace restrictions can severely limit UAS operations, which hurts the UAS ecosystem. AirMap invests in data innovation in order to unlock airspace for responsible UAS operations around the globe so that the drone ecosystem can thrive.

Scheduled Airspace is LIVE in Switzerland

AirMap is working with skyguide and FOCA to deliver Swiss U-space, Switzerland’s vision for a cooperative UTM system. As part of this work, skyguide recently launched new geo-awareness applications for UAS operators. These applications feature AirMap’s scheduled airspace capability. UAS operators can ensure that their flights are safe and compliant by downloading and utilizing skyguide’s U-space applications.

For more information about skyguide’s U-space apps, visit www.swissuspace.ch. Learn more about AirMap’s geo-awareness solutions at airmap.com/authorities.