SAFIR drone demonstrations in DronePort signal in simultaneous drone flights in Antwerp
The SAFIR consortium of partners – Amazon Prime Air, Aveillant, C-Astral, DronePort, Elia, Explicit, Helicus, Port of Antwerp, Proximus, SABCA, Skeyes, Tekever and Unifly – tested the first simultaneous drone flights in Sint-Truiden DronePort, for among other things package deliveries, inspection flights and emergency situations. European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc also followed the demonstrations from the front row. SAFIR stands for "Safe and Flexible Integration of Initial U-space Services in a Real Environment," a project funded by the EU.
The demonstrations will provide practical insights for the SESAR public-private partnership, which is the entity responsible for coordinating all EU air traffic management research and development activities. The demonstrations thus contribute to the European Commission's regulatory process for safe, standardized and more harmonious access to airspace for drones. Port of Antwerp is also actively involved in this project:
U-space is a promotional framework which in the long term should facilitate access to all levels of European airspace, including crewed air transport and air traffic control. If everything goes well, the first U-space basic services will be available by the end of 2019. This will allow a range of drone missions within a sustainable European ecosystem that is globally compatible. At present, some drone missions are limited in the absence of a clear regulatory framework.
After the trial round at the DronePort in Sint-Truiden, the SAFIR partners will test simultaneous drone flights over Antwerp city centre and port, in a world first. The press can view the results of this test case, with explanations from the various partners involved, at Port House on Thursday 26 September at 10:00. Photographs and other visual material will also be made available.