It is soon three months since Polish Air Navigation Services Agency has operationally implemented PansaUTM system, powered by Hawk-e DroneRadar. The tool allowed the coordination of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flights by air traffic control services on a scale larger than ever before. Initially, it allowed coordination of flights in three airport control zones (CTR EPPO, EPMO, EPBY), later it was also introduced in CTR EPGD, EPSC, EPLB and in Gdańsk FIS sector.
This period, although short, has shown the great (and constantly growing!) interest in the system and its functionalities among drone operators in Poland. At the same time, it has proven the maturity and high level of responsibility of drone users, as well as their concern for the safety of air operations.
During those three months alone, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Management Cell has coordinated over 2,500 UAV missions operating in areas that require PANSA’s approval (i. e. in vicinity of controlled airports). Thanks to their service, air traffic controllers can be sure that planned missions are legal and the UAV flight will be operated in accordance with all safety rules. Drone operators have checked-in (user login in PansaUTM) over 50,000 times, in both controlled an uncontrolled airspace, becoming therefore visible to the appropriate air traffic services – tower controllers and FIS officers.
The growing number of check-ins and mission plans that are submitted to the system in just three months proves how important the PansaUTM system is for the coordination of drone flights in Polish airspace and how much of a facilitation it is for both sides – drone operators and air traffic services. This is a huge step forward and an element of the digital revolution taking place in the Polish aviation industry. The means of flight coordination used so far did not provide the possibility of handling such a large number of UAV operations. The number of missions approved by PANSA via the PansaUTM system during the quarter exceeded the total number of missions coordinated by email throughout 2019.
The check-in procedure, which according to the Act of 16.04.2020 on special support instruments in relation to the spread of the SARS-COV-2 virus should be done before every UAV flight, allowing air traffic services to contact the drone operator and give the opportunity to inform them about any unusual circumstances, e.g. the flight of an air ambulance helicopter.
We would like to say a big thank you to all drone operators for welcoming PansaUTM so warmly and invite you to follow the news and drone operations counter at: https://www.pansa.pl/u-space/.