DFS - Air Traffic Control

Company DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
Date 25.11.2009

25/11/2009.- The European project INOUI for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into non-segregated airspace – airspace where all air traffic is authorised to fly according to established procedures – will present its research results at a forum in Cologne, Germany, on 1 and 2 December. The forum is open to all interested UAS stakeholders. Around one hundred participants have already registered. INOUI is commissioned by the Directorate General for Energy and Transport of the European Commission and aims to establish general and harmonised rules and procedures for UAS in the air traffic management (ATM) environment.

The work is structured in six work packages and documented in 21 deliverables. The findings are published on the project’s website under www.inoui.isdefe.es. A comprehensive glossary of UAS terms and terminology used in the project can also be found on the website.

The project’s findings will complement the SESAR European ATM modernisation programme which aims to implement the Single European Sky initiative by 2020 and beyond. The consortium, which began work in 2007, is led by the German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH and consists of Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España, Boeing Research and Technology Europe, the Spanish Fundación Instituto de Investigación INNAXIS, Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH and the French Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales.

To date, unmanned aircraft have mainly been used for military purposes and have been flown in segregated airspace and areas or with special permission. However, in recent years, UAS have become increasingly interesting for civil applications, such as aerial photography, pipeline and power line surveillance, fisheries and wildlife monitoring, fire fighting, weather and climate studies, as well as rescue and recovery missions, to name just a few.

The aim of the INOUI project is to identify UAS applications, define an operational concept, assess the ATM environment, analyse certification, and licencing of UAS and its personnel, propose operational procedures, assess the required technologies, and describe safety analyses and requirements for aerodromes.

According to the project coordinator, Achim Baumann: "The integration of unmanned aircraft into non-segregated airspace must not compromise safety and should have as little impact on other airspace users as possible. Unmanned aircraft systems should be treated like manned aircraft." Applicable rules fundamental to safe operations, such as right-of-way rules, existing procedures and radiotelephony, should only be changed if necessary.

Specific characteristics of UAS may require additional or adapted procedures due to performance limitations, flight profiles or other capabilities. Procedures must be adapted for very light and small types of unmanned aircraft, for instance, which are not as powerful and fly more slowly than other aircraft.

"Pilots control unmanned aircraft from the ground and are consequently separated from their aircraft. Procedures and communication with air traffic controllers will therefore have to be adapted to this new situation. A direct telephone line would be a useful back-up in the event that radio communication is lost," says Stefan Tenoort, member of the DFS research and development centre who has been working on the work package for the airspace integration of UAS.

Rules must be developed for uncontrolled airspace to protect aircraft flying under visual flight rules which are not in contact with ATC. Future technological developments for UAS will also benefit manned aviation, for example by providing advanced self-separation solutions.
The final results of INOUI will be published in early 2010 as soon as European Commission approval has been obtained.

If you would like to interview the project coordinator or need further information on the topic, please contact:
Nanda Geelvink, Tel. +49 (0)6103 707-1308,
Fax: +49 (0)6103 707-1395, E-mail: Nanda.Geelvink@dfs.de

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law and has 5,350 employees. DFS ensures the safe and punctual handling of flights. Staff coordinate up to 10,000 aircraft movements in German airspace every day, and more than 3 million movements every year. Germany has the highest traffic volume in Europe. DFS operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich. In addition, DFS staff work in the control towers of the 16 international airports in Germany, as well as at the Eurocontrol Centre in Maastricht, the Netherlands. DFS provides training and consultancy services around the world and develops and sells air traffic control, surveillance and navigation systems. The company's portfolio also comprises flight-relevant data, aeronautical publications and aeronautical information services. DFS has the following business units: Control Centre, Tower, Aeronautical Solutions and Aeronautical Information Management.


DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
Aeronautical Solutions
Am DFS-Campus 10
  • +49 (0)6103 707-2051