Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) and UK-based Altitude Angel launched a collaboration today to ensure the safe integration of drones into Dutch airspace. Altitude Angel is an aviation technology company delivering solutions which enable the safe integration and fully automated use of drones in the airspace. Together, the partners will be developing an application for flight authorization in controlled airspace and nation-wide provision of information for drone pilots. This marks the first step in providing air traffic control to drone pilots via Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM). LVNL aims to safely facilitate the increasing use of drones for various applications.
“Through this partnership, LVNL offers innovative functionalities and new possibilities for the use of drones in the Netherlands,” says Jurgen van Avermaete, General Manager for Procedures at LVNL. “In an international tender, it became clear that Altitude Angel offers the best solution for LVNL, in terms of both functional and technical possibilities, with a high priority on safety. The platform provided by Altitude Angel fits seamlessly into our current systems and can be scaled up flexibly in order to facilitate the growing use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Dutch airspace in a safe and efficient way. Altitude Angel has a good track record and their system is already being used by the air traffic control organization in the United Kingdom.”
The collaboration will start with the development of an app for drone pilots, providing information on where they are allowed to fly and what rules apply there. The app also gives users an option to submit flight plans with information about the flight zone, flight altitude, type of drone, the user’s authorizations, and the ability to link that information online to the national drone registry. The app displays the location and provides an overview that shows if flying with a drone is permitted; if it is, the app also displays the maximum altitude as well as the restrictions and/or exceptions. If the drone flight is planned in controlled airspace (in the vicinity of an airport), the user can request permission from air traffic control via the app. In future, the app will give the drone pilot detailed instructions and air traffic information. It will then also be possible for air traffic control to track these drone flights in real time. The same application will also be used by LVNL to simplify requests for special uses of airspace (such as parachute jumping and skydiving). The first version of the app is scheduled to launch in the Netherlands in the first half of 2020.
The photo shows the teams from LVNL and Altitude Angel at the start of the collaboration.