The Swiss U-space flight information management system (FIMS) for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and drones has been deployed. The service was developed through a partnership between the Swiss air navigation service provider, skyguide, AirMap, Inc. – the leading global airspace intelligence platform for drones, and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).
FIMS is an aviation data exchange hub that connects skyguide's air traffic management (ATM) system to UAS Service Providers (USPs) with open interfaces to support safe and compliant drone operations in low-altitude airspace. The FIMS deployment represents a critical milestone in the development of the Swiss U-space Implementation (SUSI) program, Switzerland’s drone traffic management network infrastructure, and in global UAS Traffic Management (UTM) capabilities.
U-space complements traditional ATM systems by facilitating information exchange and interactions between airspace authorities and drone operators. As part of U-space, the FIMS is a cloud-based, interoperable platform that distributes airspace information, directives and real-time traffic from skyguide's ATM system to drone operators through a network of USPs.
Image courtesy: AirMap, Inc.
Participating USPs connect to the FIMS using open interfaces to provide services that support drone operators in meeting regulatory and operational requirements. The FIMS is designed to connect with multiple USPs to support an open, competitive drone economy with a marketplace of drone services.
Learn more about UAS traffic management
“The Swiss U-space FIMS is a critical building block toward full UTM implementation in Switzerland,” says Klaus Meier, skyguide’s chief technology officer. “Following the creation of SUSI, the Swiss U-space Implementation framework designed by FOCA to build an open UTM ecosystem in Switzerland, we are delighted to announce the availability of the FIMS open interfaces to connect skyguide with multiple UAS Service Providers.”
Image courtesy: AirMap, Inc.
Earlier this year, skyguide and AirMap kicked off a Swiss U-space automated authorization trial. Over 200 operators have joined the trial and use the Swiss U-space mobile application to plan operations and request and receive automated authorization to fly in controlled airspace near Lugano and Geneva airports, with expansion planned to additional airports.
“Switzerland's FIMS enables multiple USPs to connect to safety-critical airspace information using open and interoperable interfaces to deliver nationwide U-space services to UAS operators,” says Ben Marcus, AirMap’s co-founder and chairman. “With this new milestone, Switzerland continues to lead the world in rolling out innovative UTM services that foster an open drone economy.”
In March 2018, skyguide and AirMap announced their partnership to develop the first nationwide U-space system in Europe to provide a comprehensive framework to support safe and efficient UAS operations across Switzerland. In the coming months, skyguide and AirMap will move toward full U-space system deployment targeted for early 2020.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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