By S.L. Fuller | May 12, 2017
The International Civil Aviation Org. has taken on the task of developing a common global framework for unmanned aircraft traffic systems, it said at the Assn. for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) Xponential in Dallas this week. The unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) initiative is part of a program assigned to ICAO by its 191 members states, many of which has proposed the creation.
“Today, we are issuing a request for information on what we believe are the top priorities that must be addressed by states, industry and academia in order to develop safe and efficient UTM systems,” said Leslie Cary, ICAO’s remotely piloted aviation systems program manager. “This will allow further developments to focus on better-defined issues, whether technical, operational or legal. It will also ensure safety continues to remain the driving factor. ICAO is the natural agency to be gathering together the best and brightest from governments and industry to define the problem so that global solutions can be proposed, debated and agreed.”
ICAO said it was motivated to take on the development of UTM by the need to maintain safety for manned aircraft, the desire for harmonious domestic drone regulations and to create an efficient environment for drone operations. ICAO has been involved with remotely piloted aircraft and drones for nearly 10 years. This includes the formation of a drone advisory group and the production of an online toolkit to provide best practices and guidance. It will soon release a concept of operations to further outline its vision for regulation and is currently developing legal framework for the international operation of certificated, instrument flight rules-capable remotely piloted aircraft.
“Extensive discussion of all presentations should be anticipated with the possibility that some aspects of several submissions could be supported by the symposium audience and considered for incorporation into ICAO UAS guidance material,” Cary said. “This symposium will be the first of a series in the coming years, where stakeholders are offered an opportunity to present solutions to specific problem statements in front of a global audience.”
Submissions to this request for information will be reviewed by ICAO, which would then choose what it considers to be the best of the submissions. Those submissions could then have the opportunity to be presented during ICAO’s drone industry symposium, Drone Enable, in September.