Estonia to launch airspace services for drones

The Estonian Air Navigation Services is to collaborate with AirMap, an American-run global platform for safe and efficient drone operations, to develop a customised solution for integrating drones into Estonia’s airspace.

The Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS) and AirMap are developing a comprehensive and customised solution for integrating drones into Estonian airspace, the companies announced in a statement. This will enable the state-owned EANS to serve a growing drone community in Estonia.

As part of the joint project, AirMap will conduct market, business and regulatory analyses, determine best practices for business planning and work closely with EANS and the Estonian relevant authorities to create a uniquely tailored concept of operations. The concept is called a “U-space” – a set of new services and specific procedures designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for large numbers of drones.

A drone (the image is illustrative/Unsplash).

Advanced drone operations

“The rapid growth of drone operations requires innovative digital solutions to ensure safe air traffic management,” Maria Tamm, a project manager at the EANS, said in a statement. “U-space is for all airspace users and we need to take concrete steps to enable the safe and secure integration of unmanned and manned aviation into Estonian airspace. We look forward to working with AirMap and creating a roadmap for safely integrating advanced drone operations at scale.”

“Safe and scalable drone integration will solidify Estonia’s leading-edge business advantages and allow Estonian businesses to reap the benefits that drones provide to the economy,” Eric McCabe, the vice president of strategic services at AirMap, added.

AirMap’s solutions have so far been deployed in the Czech Republic, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

According to the EANS, Estonia is at the forefront of European U-space enablement. Several Estonian companies have been testing advanced drone operations such as package deliveries, border security and long-distance flights.

Cover: The Estonian Air Navigation Services HQ by the Tallinn Airport.

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