Airservices begins developing a flight data system for drone operators – Strategy – Software

Airservices Australia has selected four companies to develop a prototype Flight Information Management System (FIMS) that will share air traffic control information with drone operators.

The companies – ANRA Technologies, Altitude Angel, Frequentis Australasia and OneSky Systems – were chosen following a call for tenders by the state-owned company last year.

FIMS, on which Airservices has been consulting since mid-2020, will act as a data exchange gateway, connecting drone operators and other new airspace users to the existing air traffic management system.

It should enable shared situational awareness among all airspace users, as participants in unmanned aerial vehicle (UTM) traffic management increasingly become a feature of the skies.

“Australia is one of the fastest growing markets for drones, embracing new technologies to deliver products, services and assistance to people and places faster,” Airservices said in a statement.

Airservices Director of Customer Experience Strategy Peter Curran said FIMS will be at the heart of the UTM ecosystem envisioned by the government’s National Emerging Aviation Technology Policy.

He said this will “provide safe, efficient and equitable access to airspace for traditional and new airspace users”.

An example could include emergency services temporarily requesting priority access to conduct a rescue operation, with FIMS automatically sharing updated information with all airspace users.

The four chosen companies will now participate in a “competitive selection process” to create the FIMS prototype, with field trials expected to take place before the end of this year.

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