Our Challenges of Growth studies look at the long-term future of the aviation industry and, in particular, at the challenges that the forecast growth in traffic will present to the industry in 20 years’ time.
This year’s study will put the spotlight on the growth of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The 2016 European Drones Outlook Study published by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) has already provided us with a good snapshot of the drone landscape in 2050. However, the scope of the Challenges of Growth study will be much more specific. It will target those UAS operating under ‘instrument flight rules’ (IFR), i.e. under the control of an air traffic controller for some or all of the flight. According to EASA standards, all 'certified' UAS operations will most likely fall under international IFR – some of which grouped under the “specific” category. In 2017, a fleet of tens of drones– nearly all of them carrying out military or border patrol missions – flew under IFR on a daily basis.
A questionnaire is available for anyone who is interested in joining the conversation. Whether you are a civil or military stakeholder, your ideas and opinions will surely help us to anticipate and prepare for future UAS operations in current IFR airspace.