Leonardo has been selected by ENAV as its industrial partner for the development of an air traffic control system for unmanned aircraft and for the provision of related services.
Leonardo has been selected by ENAV, the Italian air navigation service provider, as its industrial partner for the development of an air traffic control system for unmanned aircraft and for the provision of related services. The Italian firm will lead an industrial team that includes Leonardo subsidiary Telespazio and IDS (Ingegneria Dei Sistemi).
ENAV will set up a new company for the development of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Traffic Management (UTM) system and the provision of related services, including technical maintenance. ENAV will hold 60% of the share capital of the new company while the remaining 40% will be held by the industrial team led by Leonardo.
The UTM system will integrate multiple technologies for the safe handling, in civil airspace, of cooperating remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) – i.e. those that have been registered, authenticated and identified. The system will also support pre-flight planning, flight surveillance, emergency management and flight data recording.
The ability to provide the UTM service is a prerequisite to guarantee the security of unmanned aerial vehicle flights beyond line of sight and represents a key step in opening up new markets based on their use.
The sector is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, with estimates that there will be 7m drones in use for recreational purposes in Europe by 2035, with another 400,000 for commercial purposes.
In the project with ENAV, Leonardo will be responsible for coordinating the industrial team, for the system design as a System Integrator and for the development of most of the software, while ensuring adequate levels of cyber protection.
Telespazio will integrate the system with value-added solutions based on EGNOS and Galileo European satellite navigation systems, on Earth observation systems (georeferencing) and satellite telecommunications. Telespazio will also coordinate maintenance of the UTM system.