News & Updates

Future Mobility Campus Ireland Welcomes FAA Senior Leaders for a Showcase of Drone Innovations

Early in November 2023, Future Mobility Campus Ireland hosted senior leaders from the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), bringing together a consortium of industry leaders from the ÉALÚ-AER project for a dynamic exploration of ongoing developments in air mobility in Ireland. This meeting provided a platform to spotlight the innovative strides made in drone technologies and operations within the Future Mobility Campus and ÉALÚ-AER project.

The visit commenced with high-level discussions between our experts and the FAA leaders, sharing valuable perspectives on the future of aerial mobility. Notably, the FAA met not only with the FMCI team but also with key players in the industry, including Collins AerospaceAvtrain, and The Shannon Airport Group.

Left to right: Danijel Benjak (FMCI), Wassim Derguech (FMCI), Julie Garland (Avtrain), Angela Stubblefield (FAA), John Dermody (FAA), Jim Patterson (FAA), Stefano Riverso (Collins Aerospace), Javier Camacho Font (Collins Aerospace), Diarmuid Ó Conchubhair (FMCI)

FMCI and ÉALÚ-AER Project overview

Dr. Wassim Derguech, COO of FMCI and coordinator of ÉALÚ-AER project gave an overview of FMCI and the ambition of ÉALÚ-AER consortium in delivering U-space services in the region. ÉALÚ-AER is one of the first European Digital Sky Demonstrators to focus on U-space and Urban Air Mobility as part of the European ATM Master Plan designed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (JU). SESAR JU aims at accelerating through research and innovation the delivery of an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Digital European Sky.

Digital Sky Demonstrators, such as ÉALÚ-AER, are high-level Technology Readiness Level (TRL 7-8) projects that are funded in collaboration with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), under the Connected Europe Facility (CEF) funding instrument.

ÉALÚ-AER partners include: FMCI (coordinator), Collins AerospaceThe Shannon Airport GroupAvtrainDeepBlue, MannaAirNav Ireland and Spright.

Technical Details Shared by Collins Aerospace

The Collins Aerospace team (Stefano Riverso and Javier Camacho Font) contributed significantly by sharing intricate technical details of the technology stack developed for the ÉALÚ-AER project for the implementation of U-space services, enabling efficient and safe drone operations. The detailed presentation provided a comprehensive understanding of the technology supporting the project’s success.

Insights into Regulatory Framework by Avtrain CEO Julie Garland

Julie Garland, CEO of Avtrain shared insightful perspectives on the regulatory framework in Ireland and Europe. Specifically, she highlighted the regulatory measures that enable the creation of safe drone operations in Class C airspace near Shannon Airport.

Counter Drone Strategy by Shannon Airport Group

John Drysdale from the Shannon Airport Group shared important insights into the counter-drone strategy and plans for the airport authority. This discussion emphasized the importance of proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of the airspace around Shannon Airport in coordination with the drone operations carried out by FMCI and associated partners.

Live Drone testing and WebUAS Demonstration

Practical demonstrations were a highlight of the visit, featuring live drone flights from FMCI drone port, also known as the Advanced Air Mobility Hub, situated near Shannon Airport. Attendees witnessed the capabilities of the WebUAS, a web-based Unmanned Aircraft System management platform integral to the success of the ÉALÚ-AER project.

Seamless Coordination with Air Traffic Controllers

One of the important highlights of the demonstrations was the flawless coordination between our drone operations and air traffic controllers. This coordination shows the viability of integrating drones into Class C airspace, emphasizing safety and efficiency.

Looking Ahead

As Future Mobility Campus Ireland continues to support drone innovations in Ireland, the successful visit from American FAA senior leaders, in conjunction with industry leaders, demonstrates the synergy between Industry players with the Irish Aviation Authority regulator and AirNav Ireland for the safe and efficient drone operations and successful implementation of U-space services within ÉALÚ-AER project.

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