January 27, 2023


For computer aficionados

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

Airservices Australia has down-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 request for proposal by the government-owned corporation last year.

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

It is expected to allow for a shared situational awareness among all airspace users as unmanned aerial vehicles traffic management (UTM) participants increasingly become a feature of the sky.

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

Airservices chief customer experience strategy officer Peter Curran said FIMS will be central to the UTM ecosystem envisioned by the government’s national emerging aviation technologies policy.

He said it will “provide safe, efficient and equitable access to airspace for traditional as well as 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 down-selection process” to create the FIMS prototype, with in-field trials expected to take place before the end of this year.