Roma 01 September 2015
The Sky-Y, Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi’s unmanned air vehicle, has recently carried out, with the involvement of ENAV, the first flight test of a drone in the civil airspace. The test, which has taken place at Grazzanise Air Force Base (near Naples), is part of the activities envisaged by the larger MedALE project (Mediterranean ATM Live Exercise) financed by the European Commission’s SESAR Joint Undertaking, which has the aim of ensuring the modernisation of the European air traffic management systems.
ENAV’s personnel has carried out a demonstration by simulating a normal civil airspace traffic control procedure with the Sky-Y in flight at the military ground radar station in Grazzanise and at the Naples-Capodichino civil airport, with the aim of verifying the feasibility of the integration of unmanned air vehicles in the civil airspace. In particular tests have been made on variations of routes and altitudes to prevent conflict situations and on some emergency procedures such as command and control link loss and loss of the drone’s engine power.
The Sky-Y has been configured to support interaction between the pilot at the ground station and the civil air traffic controllers. The main modification to the Sky-Y’s ground station is the addition of a display showing “real surrounding traffic” information, via the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast IN (ADS-B IN) provided by Finmeccanica-Selex ES, which has supported the hardware and software integration of the new drones’ capabilities.
Last June a first, fundamental test has been carried out for the unmanned air vehicles’ flight safety in the civil airspace within the MIDCAS programme.