Integrating unmanned traffic management (UTM) and air traffic management raises concerns over safety, as well as ensuring that aviation, people on the ground and structures are not negatively affected.

The key to solving this is enabling timely and high-quality information sharing between ATM and UTM, and the ability to communicate real-time, addressing the challenge of integrating drones in the vicinity of an airport.

Frequentis believes that by considering existing ATM systems, already widely deployed by Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) around the world, and using established standards, the transition risks for ANSPs will be minimised.

“We are aware many of our customers are concerned about the growing number of drones that want to fly legally in protected or controlled airspace. The need to safely integrate these unmanned aircraft is essential. Our tested and proven ATM solutions form the basis for a converged UTM and ATM system and with the right partner ecosystem, ANSPs reduce the risk of opening up the airspace to new entrants.” states Jan Ziegler, Frequentis head of new business development UTM.

Frequentis was selected to present its concept at the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) second drone enable symposium in Chengdu China in mid-September, with Frequentis director of strategic marketing, Markus Klopf, suggesting key factors that would ensure its success.

Firstly, a SWIM (system-wide information management)-based data sharing platform would enable the creation of a safe and secure connection layer for ATM, UTM and other stakeholders, such as airport, police, or search-and-rescue agencies. Secondly, by combining the strengths of a UTM platform with widely utilised digital ATM solutions like electronic flight strips and aeronautical message handling systems, real-time communication between drone operators and air traffic controllers could be facilitated.

Frequentis formed a strategic partnership with Altitude Angel, the global company defining UTM, in March 2018, in order to connect ATM to UTM and pave the way for safer use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), allowing them to safely co-exist in the shared airspace. Altitude Angel’s Airspace Management Operating System, GuardianUTM, covers over 80 countries and is a key component of its autonomous drone navigation system.

Frequentis will be presenting its drone management solution at ATCA in Washington, DC, US, 30 September to 3 October at booth 329.