EASA publishes U-space opinion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published its U-space opinion containing a draft regulation. As anticipated, the agency has stuck to its original proposal requiring that there should be only one common information service (CIS) provider per U-space airspace (though a State can define many different U-space areas within its airspace) and that a CIS organisation cannot also be the U-space service provider (USSP).

The draft opinion also defines mandatory U-space services: network identification, geo-awareness, traffic information and UAS flight authorisation.

The principle is that ANSPs provide air navigation services (ANS) to manned aircraft while USSPs provide U-space services to UAS operators. Both ANSPs and USSPs are certified to provide their respective services in a safe, secure and continuous manner. Within controlled airspace, U-space airspace is designated by the Member States and is dynamically managed by the ANSP. The safety of operations is guaranteed by the fact that manned and unmanned traffic will not mix with each other as they are dynamically segregated since both ANS and U-space services are not provided at the same time in the same volume of airspace.

In the short term, it is not considered that USSPs would provide ATC-like service in controlled airspace. If USSPs would provide ATC-like services within controlled airspace, they would need to meet the same certification requirements that ATS providers meet today and be designated as stipulated in the SES Regulation.