The term U-space refers to a collection of digital and automated functions and processes in a defined airspace that aim to provide safe, efficient and fair access to airspace for the increasing number of civil drone operations. U-space airspace is a framework that facilitates the implementation of any type of operation in any class of airspace and any environment, while ensuring orderly coexistence with manned aviation and air traffic control. Switzerland does not yet have an operational U-space airspace. The FOCA is currently working on establishing such airspaces, especially in areas where large numbers of simultaneously operated drones are expected or where drones are operated alongside manned aircraft (airplanes, helicopters).
In a U-Space, there is also no limit to the different U-Space service providers: An open, free and fair market should enable the best possible solution for providers and drone operators. The FOCA has described all services within the U-Space architecture in its U-Space concept (ConOps). Some of them have already been implemented, others are about to be implemented, and still others are still in progress.
The report will show the key learnings of the current U-Space implementation in Switzerland and the future plans the Swiss Aviation Authority FOCA.
Amanda Boekholt is deputy head of the Strategy and Innovation Unit of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation. She is leading the legal implementation of the U-space regulatory package in Switzerland. She acts also as the industry stakeholders lead for the Unit. In parallel, Amanda is Secretary General of the SUSI (Swiss U-space Implementation) partnership. Amanda is a legal advisor and holds a Master’s degree in law with a specialisation in innovation, intellectual property and SMEs.