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Aerial harmony between manned and unmanned aircraft, thanks to SafeSky and SkeyDrone.

The upcoming U-space in Europe poses challenges for the harmony between manned and unmanned aircraft and the risk of mid-air collisions. To mitigate these risks, SafeSky, the leading European in-flight traffic information service, and SkeyDrone, a subsidiary of skeyes and Brussels Airport Company, have agreed today April 20, 2023 upon a bilateral exchange of traffic information in U-space.

The European U-space context.

Current aviation law in Europe requires drones to yield to manned aircraft. To do so, it is mandatory that manned aircraft pilots become visible (“Be Seen”) while operating within active drone zones. This empowers drone operators in turn to take all necessary precautions to prevent potential conflicts.

Compliance with this obligation is often challenging, especially for General Aviation or ultra-light pilots who lack transponders, ADS-B, or other situational awareness systems.

How does this partnership help aircraft pilots and drone operators?

Through this partnership, both manned and unmanned aircraft will be informed of their respective presence.

SafeSky pilots will be able to visualise SkeyDrone's submitted U-space drone flight plans, while SkeyDrone users will be able to visualise the surrounding SafeSky traffic (from 20 different traffic sources) while in the air. SkeyDrone plans to integrate and validate SafeSky's traffic data as part of its planned certification as U-space service provider.

In essence, to allow General Aviation and ultra-light aircraft pilots to “Be Seen” and receive timely information regarding drone activities in their vicinity, all they need to do is download and use the free SafeSky App on their smartphone or tablet.

World first.

The collaboration between SafeSky and SkeyDrone is a world first. It is the first time that manned aircraft and drone operators can receive information about their respective activity in the vicinity. It sets a new standard for aviation safety not only in Europe, starting at national level in Belgium, but potentially around the world.

Tristan FILY, CEO of SafeSky, said: “Since the inception of our company and services, our goal has consistently been to enhance the adage of "see and avoid" by introducing the notion of "being seen". Thanks to our partnership with SkeyDrone, this aspect has taken on an exceptional significance, as we are creating safer harmony in the sky for all aircraft, without exception. For the first time, both manned and unmanned aircraft can access critical information about activities in their airspace, without requiring any additional devices or investments. It is a testament to our commitment to innovation and essential solutions that ensure safe, efficient, and secure access to airspace for all sky users.”
Hendrik-Jan VAN DER GUCHT, Managing Director of SkeyDrone, said: “This partnership allows us to further strengthen our ambition as (future) U-space service provider. The traffic information service we offer already today to our customers (drone operators) is the only aviation-grade solution in this young market and is accepted as safe air risk mitigation measure by national aviation authorities.”


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