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We guide municipalities and cities to understand the U-space concept and to plan the municipal or regional very low-level airspace and U-space airspaces. The goal is to enable safe and efficient drone traffic that serves business and society and that is accepted and trusted by citizens.

1. Strategic planning of the municipality’s very low-level airspace and U-space airspaces


The EU Commission's implementing regulations (EU) 2021/664, 2021/665 and 2021/666 on the establishment of U-space entered into force in Europe on January 26, 2023, and the Finnish Aviation Act was updated to take U-space into account on February 16, 2023. The U-space regulations apply not only to unmanned aviation but also to manned aviation and air traffic service providers.


U-space airspaces can be established to ensure that all drone operations are coordinated, which is the foundation of scalable BVLOS drone operations. The new U-space regulation recognises for the first time that cities should be involved in the consultation and oversight process for a specific airspace.


In Finnish legislation, cities and municipalities do not (yet) have any official influence over air activities . However, the EU drone strategy 2.0, which was published in December 2022, emphasises the growing role of cities and municipalities in managing the very low-level airspace  (below 150 meters), also outside U-space airspaces. That's why municipalities should form a preliminary vision of how to promote or curb the growth of innovative drone services in different areas.


However, there is little experience of the impact of innovative aerial services and BVLOS flights on society in densely populated areas. At the beginning, it is important to understand what kind of innovative aerial services exist, what their benefits are and the operating conditions they require in your municipality. An objective, fact-based and transparent foundation is essential in planning. At the same time, it is important to recognise which things are not yet known, and to avoid planning based on assumptions alone. However, municipalities should already create tools, methods and rules, which will create the capacity to react quickly to the growth of a new type of traffic and possible side effects.


Open data is a great way to influence the use of very low-level airspace , i.e. influence where and when drones fly. For example, digital maps of recommended and avoided flight areas with validity periods may come into question.


Avoiding daycare centres and schoolyards on weekdays from 7 am to 6 pm and preferring industrial areas on weekdays from 6 am to 6 pm are examples of static information. Also, activities subject to permission, such as information on planned sports events, concerts, or marathons, can be published on the map base as open data so that drone operators can take them into account in their flight operations. Making this kind of data open offers cities and municipalities a perfect testing environment, because drone operators are happy to use open data and also give feedback on it.


We guide municipalities and cities to get started with the planning of the very low-level airspace . We help in creating the necessary know-how and knowledge base for fact-based decision-making. Together with the client, we map the most important sources of demand for innovative aviation. We evaluate which part of the very low-level airspace  would be good to take into consideration first. We study airspace needs, particularly risky or sensitive areas and probable hubs.


As a synthesis, a local very low-level airspace  strategy define the municipality's role and measures to achieve the residents' approval. The strategy also ensures the controlled growth of innovative aerial services and  takes into account land use and construction plans.


2. U-space training


We have actively and deeply contributed to the development of both the U-space concept and the regulation in the EU. We have participated in several large, international U-space demonstration projects co-financed by SESAR JU. We were also invited by EASA to help prepare and draft the Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material (AMC/GM) for the U-space regulation.


In our U-space training, we go through both the basics of the U-space concept and the regulation. We discuss the effects of U-space airspaces on various aviation stakeholders, as well as what operating in U-space airspaces looks like from a drone operator's point of view. A central part is Article 18(f), the establishment, maintenance, and operation of the U-space airspace. Finally, we will go through both the certification requirements for U-space service providers and the costs and financing options of U-space airspace operations.


We can also offer in-depth training on the interpretation of EU regulations and AMC/GM or on the design of U-space airspaces.


3. U-space Proof-of-Concept and pilot projects


U-space services and airspaces are relatively new concepts in aviation. Their functionality has been tested in various research and experimental projects in different parts of the EU.


How does U-space airspace serve manned and unmanned aviators? How does the U-space airspace impact other stakeholders, such as citizens? Insight into these and other questions is best gathered through pilot and Proof-of-Concept projects. Innoavia has long experience from conducting systematic testing. In each project, key performance indicators and validation objectives are decided with the client.


We support clients and partners in U-space Proof-of-Concept studies and pilot projects from start to finish. If the PoC or pilot project includes real flight missions, we will help you from making risk assessments to obtaining necessary authority permits. During the implementation phase, we make sure that the KPI's are evaluated and that any flight operations are carried out safely.

Interested to learn more?

Let’s have a chat and get started. You will hear what impact unmanned aviation can have for you or your operations.

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