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Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has introduced tighter rules on recreational drone flight ahead of a full review of drone regulation. It cites community concern as the prompt for the new restrictions, and a rising number of incidents being reported.
The new regulations enforce a maximum ceiling of 400 feet (just under 123 metres) on recreational drones, and craft must remain more than 30 metres from people not involved in controlling the drone, and only one person may fly a recreational drone at one time. All drones – recreational and non-recreational – must now be kept away from areas where fire, police or other emergency operations are underway unless there is approval from the person in charge of the emergency operation. Drones weighing over 100 grams now cannot be flown within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome — the major aerodromes in capitals and regional centres — or non-controlled aerodromes, if it is clear that aircraft are operating at these sites. Controlled aerodromes can be easily identified by whether a control tower is present at the facility, or on Airservice Australia’s map. www.spatialsource.com.
Drone technology is on the rise and the number of drones in the air is increasing at a rapid pace. These vehicles are often hard to detect since they literally fly below the radar. The chances of conflicts between drones and manned air traffic (or between drones themselves) pose safety concerns and require technology solutions.
CLASS or CLear Air Situation for uaS, is a project funded as part SESAR 2020, the programme for air traffic management modernization, and within the framework of Horizon 2020. It aims to combine existing technologies to build the core functions need for safe and secure drone traffic management. It also aims to validate technologies required for the surveillance of UAS traffic.
Functionalities to be researched include real-time tracking and the display of both cooperative and non-cooperative drones. The project will validate the drone detection and tracking technologies during live demonstrations, and publish and share its results with the relevant stakeholders, including the drone users and the air traffic management community.
Conclusions and recommendations for follow up will be largely disseminated to enable drones to safely operate on large scale for the benefit of the growing drone business. The CLASS project is spearheaded by Airbus Defense and Space. International partners Aveillant, ENAC, NTNU and Unifly join forces to research and evaluate the groundbased technologies’ potential to monitor and separate drone traffic in a real-time unmanned aerial system traffic management system (UTMS). www.sesar.eu, www.sesarju.eu
Phase One Ind and Lufthansa Aerial services sign co-op agreement
Phase One Industrial and Lufthansa Aerial Services have signed an agreement to explore collaborative development and deployment of UAVs for a range of specialized industrial surveying and inspection projects. Under terms of the agreement, both are testing and evaluating scenarios for UAVbased aerial equipment featuring Phase One Industrial aerial cameras. www.industrial.phaseone.com
President Donald J. Trump directed U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recently to launch an initiative to safely test and validate advanced operations for drones in partnership with state and local governments in select jurisdictions. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program implements a directive signed by President and the results will be used to accelerate the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace and to realize the benefits of unmanned technology in our economy.
The program will help tackle the most significant challenges in integrating drones into the national airspace while reducing risks to public safety and security. The program is designed to provide regulatory certainty and stability to local governments and communities, UAS owners and operators who are accepted into the program. In less than a decade, the potential economic benefit of integrated unmanned aerial systems into the nation’s airspace is estimated to equal up to $82 billion. www.transportation.gov
Velodyne LiDAR partnership with YellowScan
Velodyne LiDAR Inc. has announced that it is partnering with YellowScan to integrate its VLP-16 Puck and VLP-16 Puck LITE LiDAR sensors into YellowScan’s Surveyor for a turn-key and reliable LiDAR system for demanding UAV applications. www.velodynelidar.com