U-space services Implementation Monitoring Report

This report assesses the implementation progress, with reference date September 2018, of the main elements underlying the provision of the U-Space services enabling VLL drone operations in the 28 EU Member States.

An initial implementation survey, composed by 49 closed-ended questions derived from SESAR USpace Blueprint [2], covering 16 services, whose gradual implementation is planned in phases U1 (2019) to U3 (2025), was conducted by the EUROCONTROL PRM Unit.

In particular, 187 representatives of key EU national stakeholders were invited to provide implementation progress, as well as short to medium term planning information concerning implementation of U-Space Services in their national environment. A univariate analysis of the implementation data was performed in order to determine progress frequency distributions (i.e. summary of percentages) and provide a snapshot of the level of maturity of each U-Space service. Figure 1 shows the overall state of the implementation, highlighting an uneven deployment strategy, not fully in line with the progressive approach proposed by the U-Space roadmap.

Discrepancies between U-Space service elements completion rate evolutions and expected overall services full implementation rates highlighted a lack of coordination and harmonisation in the development of the components enabling the provision of the U-Space services.

Additional information regarding any active/planned demonstrations were also requested in order to develop a list of projects taking place within the EU U-Space Demonstrator network. Figure 2 represents an indicative, cumulative total of U-Space demonstration projects running between 2016 and 2020. In particular, 2018 is seeing a major boost to demonstration activities, mostly supported by EU funding programmes (ref. Figure 3).

Being developed within the scope of the EU Network of U-Space Demonstrators initiative, this report targeted the 28 EU Member States only. The data collected cover 24 States. Due to the lack of planning information available, the results should be considered a rather conservative estimate. In fact, although the implementation of many service elements is currently ongoing in several States, no assumptions were made on their deployment in absence of an expected full implementation date. An updated, more comprehensive version of the questionnaire should be developed in accordance with any required evolution of the U-Space concept, in order to increase the number of responses and enhance the quality of the reported information. Finally, a number of stakeholders expressed the desire to have U-Space implementation monitoring integrated into EUROCONTROL’s Master Plan Level 3 reporting framework, in order to optimise staff allocation and internal reporting procedures. Such a solution would indeed provide the opportunity to consolidate a coherent, all-encompassing approach to the European ATM planning and monitoring processes, methods, and tools.

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U-Space services Implementation Monitoring Report