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U-space: Reserved airspace for Drones in Europe. Countdown to 26 January 2023 has begun!

On that day, a comprehensive collection of extremely detailed regulations - the most recent of which was released on December 20, 2022 - that make up the European rule for U-space go into effect.

Determined by national governments, governed by European laws

These "U-spaces" are determined by the national governments, but once they are established, they are governed by EU drone laws and monitored by private U-Space Service Providers who also adhere to EU laws (and thus no longer provided by in-country ANSP, the Air Navigation Service Providers).

This is a component of a larger EU Drone Strategy 2.0 published on November 29, 2022 that paves the way and promotes the efficient, secure, and safe growth of drone activities.

U-space: a no-fly zone for manned aircraft?

According to SERA 6005 c (European Flight Rules): "Manned aircraft operating in airspace designated by the competent authority as a U-space airspace, and not provided with an air traffic control service by the ANSP, shall continuously make themselves electronically conspicuous to the U-space service providers” (applicable as of 26 January 2023).

In other words, only manned aircraft that are "eConspicuous," that is visible to U-space users, will be permitted to enter non-controlled airspace. This airspace is determined by national authorities as from 26.1.2023 and to be expected soon. It will most likely be limited to 500ft in the first phase.

How can one be "eConspicuous"?

There are now two ways to be noticeable to the drone community, according to EASA:

  1. Transmitting using an ADS-B-out or FLARM device: EASA has already released the specifications.

  2. Making use of mobile telephony: SafeSky is closely collaborating with EASA and other parties to develop technical specifications that will enable you to be eConspicous by using apps such as SafeSky. Both manned and unmanned aircraft will be powered by mobile technologies (5G and via satellite links) in the future. The conclusion of this in the upcoming months is something we really wish for! So there as well, additional details will be forthcoming.


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