From the 15th to 17th of December a series of RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft system) flight tests were held at Grottaglie Airport in Italy as part of the INSuRE project under the framework and co-financed by the wider European SESAR program (Single European Sky ATM Research), which aims to support the development of technological capabilities and regulations for the simultaneous operation of both manned and unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace.
The SD-150 Hero RPAS at Grottaglie Airport
The test session was conducted by IDS (Ingegneria Dei Sistemi) with their project partners SD (Sistemi Dinamici) and ANS CR (Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic), and took the form of a series of flights of the SD-150 Hero, a rotorcraft RPAS, with a ground based mobile command station developed by SD. The tests demonstrated the aircraft’s ability to conduct operational missions and have also enabled the definition and testing of one of the first recognized procedures for the management of these systems in regulated areas.
All the performed activities were successfully completed and the results obtained will enable the quantitative evaluation of the INSuRE project demonstration objectives.
This series of tests have effectively kicked off experimental RPAS activities at Grottaglie Airport in accordance with the directives defined by ENAC (the Italian Civil Aviation Authority) and the European Union for the operational integration of unmanned systems into a single sky. The operational procedures put in place for the INSuRE RPAS activities were defined and agreed amongst all stakeholders: the project partners, Aeroporti di Puglia, ENAV (the Italian ANSP) and ENAC.
IDS and SD will continue experimental RPAS activities, outside of the scope of the INSuRE project, in the new year.