As I wrote in my previous write-up, the development of the drone sector needs us to share the airspace with manned aviation. Our airspace is as well small as well as complicated to break it down. In order to facilitate the shared use airspace, the European aeronautics organization EASA is working on the growth of the so-called U-space. Yet how EASA wishes to accomplish that is still uncertain to me. In the meantime, large-scale out of sight (BVLOS) flying drones in my sight is not feasible.

(Too) ambitious

The SESAR website– the organisation whose job is to form a single European sky– is absolutely quite enthusiastic: “U-space is a set of brand-new services relying upon a high level of digitalisation and also automation of functions as well as certain treatments made to support secure, efficient and also secure accessibility to airspace for great deals of drones.”

Seems wonderful, yet the very same SESAR is 20 (!) year working to integrate European airspace right into one system (Single European Sky), which indicates that airplane no longer have to fly that far. Yet that has actually still not worked out until now, due to the lots of clashing interests. That’s why I expect no wonders in the U-space job. I think there is an excellent chance that it will certainly take years prior to U-space is a reality.


So what are we mosting likely to do as a drone industry in the meantime? Jumbling like we do currently? Do you remember here, don’t you leave me there? Shut an item of airspace for an additional pilot task? Of course, if we wish to go flying seriously, that is not sustainable. In other words, there is a brake on cutting-edge drone applications.

Or is that too dramatic possibility? In the field, you still encounter the picture that regulators do not comprehend it which the regulation for sharing the airspace is all ‘overstated inconvenience’, regularly. Drones fly fairly reduced to the ground and also without a doubt a lot of the various other manned air website traffic flies at the very least 500 feet, so what is the issue?(I’m from manned air travel, so I maintain sharing elevation in feet ☺)Radio Line of Sight But: to be able to securely regulate your drone, there have to be a link between your drone as well as the Ground Control Station (GCS) at all times. If you intend to fly a far away from the GCS with a drone (as holds true with BVLOS), you still need to fly within Radio Line of Sight. Control using 4G or 5G makes it feasible to fly low at a long distance (hopping from antenna to antenna), yet by doing this of regulating drones is still in the experimental phase.

So to maintain flying with the GCS within the ‘traditional’ Radio Line of Sight, the drone needs to fly greater and higher as it is further far from the GCS. And also with that said, the drone ultimately needs to fly over 500 feet and therefore through the exact same airspace as the manned aviation.

Transponders no option

And then we’re back to scrape: just how are we going to make BVLOS flights possible promptly? There appears to be a straightforward short-term solution: making use of transponders. That seems like an optimal service, but there are a few objections to this. Of all, the regular air travel transponders are fairly heavy and also expensive. They are just suitable for larger drones.

The second objection is additionally a tough one: the low airspace in the Netherlands is, with the exception of the CTRs, mainly class G airspace. Just VFR web traffic flies there, as well as the majority of aircraft– unlike commercial airplane and also helicopters– are not equipped with a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which, by means of transponder signals, gives a warning in the cabin if there is an additional aircraft. obtaining too close.

So if a drone has a transponder as well as satisfies a Cessna at 7 NM range from the GCS and also 1000 feet height, then that Cessna does not ‘see’ any one of that; after all, it does not have a TCAS. What is the added value of a transponder? And how do we solve the Detect-And-Avoid problem?

The latest, necessary ADS-B transponders have just limited interaction capability. The large deployment of ADS-B transponders on drones can pose a problem in the mutual interaction of the transponders. Which is precisely the basis of the Detect-And-Avoid system of significant air travel. This infraction of trip safety is, without an excellent alternative, clearly not appropriate.


My conclusion is that actually flying BVLOS does not take off widespread in the short term. It is nearly impossible to do that securely in the same airspace as manned air travel. It is therefore vital that the Ministry of Infrastructure and also Water Management will swiftly make policy which drone procedures the federal government does intend to promote and which do not, up until there is a good technical option for airspace sharing.

Whether that is the control of drones using 4G or 5G, or a TCAS duty for all forms of aeronautics, or the realization of that ‘U-space’: I am very curious who thinks of the option to this issue as well as with what technology. That will be the champion of the airspace race?