In the context of the U-ELCOME Project, Thales, leader of the French Cluster and its key partners, EUROCONTROL and Systematic, are pleased to announce the opening of the first long-range corridor in the Paris area and the first Beyond Line of Sight (BVLOS) UAS flight in a semi-urban area in Bretigny-sur-Orge.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), with their considerable potential, are expected to enter the airspace in their hundreds of thousands over the next ten years. This will greatly increase the complexity of the aeronautical ecosystem, creating new safety challenges. Thales has a leading position in this new drone ecosystem, offering solutions ranging from the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) itself to complete infrastructure (including surveillance / detection) for regulating drone traffic.
In December 2021, Thales, Systematic Paris-Region and EUROCONTROL inaugurated the CEDIF (Centre d'Excellence Drones d'Ile-de-France) in Bretigny-sur-Orge, which aims to offer a comprehensive platform to incubate, validate and industrialize all direct and indirect activities related to drones. This center has become a key pillar of drone traffic regulation infrastructures and an accelerator of innovation and economic development in the region.
Thanks to its unique positioning, Thales will leverage its expertise and impact on the drone ecosystem in the Paris area bringing to:
- Drive forces and technical support in dealings with national authorities (DSAC) for the creation of new flying areas,
- Federate our partners and drone/UTM players,
- Orchestrate the various activities leading to the deployment of U-space services in France.
The Sud Francilien corridors is targeting a full implementation of these systems and procedures by October 2025.
"This first flight as part of the U-ELCOME project demonstrates the ability of Systematic Paris Region and Thales to accelerate innovation and deployment in the UAS Traffic Management industry, locally and internationally. We're taking off together and looking forward to future flights." Frank ERB, Director of UAV Development (UTM), Thales as Chairman of the UAV Hub.
U-ELCOME is a three-year SESAR Digital Sky Demonstrator project, involving 51 partners whose overall aim is to support the implementation of services for the safe and secure integration of drones. With demonstrations taking place in three European countries, the project aims to support the interoperability and harmonisation of services within the framework of U-space. The Demonstrator is co-funded by the Connecting Europe Facility