Special Flights Office Utilizes AirMap Technology to Expedite UAS and Other Flight Authorizations in Controlled Airspace

March 12, 2020, Santa Monica, CA—Skyguide, the Swiss air navigation service provider, and AirMap, the leading airspace and automation company serving the drone economy, today unveiled a streamlined digital authorization system for expedited approval of UAS and other special flights in controlled airspace.

In Switzerland, flights by UAS, gliders, parachutes, hot air balloons, and other non-commercial aircraft within airspace classes C and D are subject to approval from skyguide and the airport authority, as they can be dangerous to other airspace users. As drone flights increase in volume and complexity, airspace authorities face a backlog in coordinating and processing all special flights requests, which can take over a week to complete.

Together, skyguide and AirMap implemented a flexible and intelligent digital authorization workflow solution that streamlines, digitizes, and automates airspace authorization requests for drones and other special flights. The solution alleviates administrative burden and makes it quicker, easier, and safer for UAS and other special flights to access controlled airspace.

The AirMap UTM Center enables Swiss air traffic managers to receive notifications when a special airspace use application is submitted; view data regarding the proposed operation’s geography, timing, and proposed route; and view any airspace rules, regulations, and appropriate sectional maps. UAS operators can submit online requests for authorization to fly in controlled airspace with easy-to-use web applications and receive a decision in less than three days.

This new digital authorization service will be available throughout Switzerland later this year. The announcement comes a year after skyguide and AirMap trialed a fully automated authorization capability for UAS flights at Geneva and Lugano Airports.

“UAS and other special flight operators no longer have to wait ten days to fly in controlled airspace,” said Robert Fraefel, U-space project lead at skyguide. “Digitizing our authorization process enables skyguide to deliver safe and efficient access to airspace, makes it easier and faster for operators to apply for permission to fly in controlled airspace, and removes the burden from our special flights office.”

“Digitizing the authorization process is an important step in enabling drone operations at scale and opening up access to airspace,” added Boris Lacroix, AirMap’s Senior Vice President of Product Management. “This major milestone demonstrates skyguide and AirMap’s commitment to pioneering real-world U-space services and access requests for Switzerland and beyond.”

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About skyguide
Skyguide provides air navigation services for Switzerland and certain adjacent parts of neighbouring countries. With its 1500 employees at 14 locations in Switzerland, the company guides some 1.3 million civil and military flights a year safely and efficiently through Europe’s most complex airspace.

Skyguide is well integrated into the international air navigation services community and, with its innovative and customer-minded solutions, helps enhance Switzerland’s appeal as a place to live, work and do business. The company is majority-owned by the Swiss Confederation, and is headquartered in Geneva.

About AirMap
AirMap is the leading digital airspace and automation company serving the drone economy. AirMap connects airspace authorities, enterprise operators, and industry developers with automation software solutions for scaling safe and efficient drone operations in low-altitude airspace. AirMap’s UTM and U-space products are deployed in the Czech Republic, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the United States, and available in over 30 countries. The company serves a global community of over 250,000 pilots and 2,700 registered developers. In 2019, AirMap acquired Hangar Technology, an enterprise drone dataflow platform, to further accelerate enterprise drone adoption through digital automation. AirMap is committed to advancing drone enablement through global research initiatives including NASA-UTM, the European Network of U-space Demonstrators, and the U.S. DoT UAS Integration Pilot Program and UTM Pilot Program. Learn more at www.airmap.com.