As the skies grow increasingly congested and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturers continue to advance drone technology for potential commercial uses, ensuring safety has become an increasingly difficult challenge in the industry. These conditions prompted AirMap, a provider of airspace information and services for UAVs, and international airline IT provider Lufthansa Systems to partner in an effort to provide global airspace information to drone operators.
The result is AirMap’s Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), which enables drone operators to integrate airspace data into their systems. D-NAS also informs airports and air traffic authorities about where drones are flying. “We are delivering the airspace and airport data relevant for commercial operations from our extensive database to increase safety around airports,” said Igor Dimnik, director of products at Lufthansa Systems.
Both parties said they hope that this meeting of technology know-how and aviation experience will “enhance situational awareness for drones and their operators, helping to build a safer shared airspace,” said AirMap CEO Ben Marcus.
While the commercial operation of UAVs remains tightly restricted in most countries around the world, this joint venture is preparing for a future in which drone use may become commonplace in the cargo sector. More than 100 airports in the United States are collaborating with the American Association of Airport Executives to pilot D-NAS, according to Lufthansa Systems.
Since many recreational drone users do not currently communicate with other aviation in the area, AirMap provides drone operators of all stripes with real-time situational awareness, including low-altitude airspace regulations, advisories and temporary flight restrictions. The AirMap Software Development Kit allows drone manufacturers or application developers to include airspace information and services in their products.