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ANSP Considerations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations

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2ANSP Considerations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations


This publication was produced by the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System/Emerging Technology Workgroup (RPAS/ET WG) of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Operations Standing Committee.

We particularly want to thank the following organisations who contributed an enormous amount of time and effort, without which this document would not have been possible.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Organization (ATO)DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbHNorthrop Grumman Park AirNAV CANADAJapan Air Navigation Service (JANS)

This is an updated version of a publication originally issued on 18 October 2011. This update reflects current terminology and considerations. It also adds information regarding small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

CopyrightAll rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form, without the prior permission of CANSO. This paper is for information purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of information in this publication, it is made available without any warranty of any kind



Acknowledgements 2

Foreword 4

1 Introduction to Modes of UAS Operations 5

1.1 UAS Data Link Configurations 5

1.2 Current UAS Operations approved by States 7

2 Accommodating UAS into ATM 8

2.1 General UAS Requirements from an ANSP Perspective 8

2.2 Separation 8

2.3 Aerodrome and Terminal UAS Operations 8

2.4 Special Handling 8

2.4.1 ATC 9

2.4.2 C2 Data Link 9

2.4.3 In-Flight 9

2.4.4 Flight Data Processing System (FDPS) 9

2.4.5 Alerting Services 10

2.4.6 IFR Procedures 10

2.4.7 Detect and Avoid, Collision Avoidance 10

2.5 Contingency and Emergency Operation Procedures 10

2.5.1 Loss of Radio Communication 10

2.5.2 Loss of C2 Link 11

2.5.3 Example of a Typical Lost Link Procedure 11

2.5.4 Flight Termination Procedures 13

3 Small UAS 14

3.1 Commercial vs Recreational Operations 14

3.2 VLOS vs BVLOS Operations 14

3.3 Uncontrolled vs Controlled Airspace 14

3.4 Regulatory Enforcement 14

3.5 NOTAMS 15

4 UAS Traffic Management (UTM) 16

5 Airspace above Controlled Airspace 17

6 Operations and Standards Guidance 18

6.1 Certification of RPAS (air ground), Airworthiness 18

6.2 Personnel/Pilot Licensing and Training 18

7 Future 19

8 UAS Training for ATM 20

9 Explanation of Terms 21

10 Abbreviations 23

4ANSP Considerations for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations



Demand for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations is on the rise and regulators around the world are beginning to permit small scale, local operations while researching opportunities to expand use in both uncontrolled and controlled airspace. The challenge for the air traffic management (ATM) industry is how to safely accommodate these new entrants to airspace and continue efficient and effective operations.

ICAO considers any aircraft flown without a pilot on board as an unmanned aircraft (UA) and all the components that enable that operation as part of a UAS. UAS come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and fulfil many diverse capabilities. Ranging in weight from a few grams to several tonnes, UAS are operating at altitudes from near the earths surface to the edge of space. Some UAS fly at slow speeds, while others are capable of very high speed, and some can remain airborne for several days.

Drones, or small UAS (sUAS), are considered separately from those capable of flight in controlled airspace on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Currently there is an increase in civil operations of smaller UAS, and day-to-day presence of UAS operating within, or in the vicinity of, controlled airspace may pose challenges for ANSPs to ensure separation of UAS from both manned and other unmanned aircraft in non-segregated airspace. UAS operations at low altitudes near airports are creating safety concerns from local air traffic control (ATC) providers. Speed, manoeuvrability, climb rate, performance characteristics, and avionic system equipage may differ substantially from conventional aircraft and may necessitate changes in standards and procedures governing ATM in the future.

Aircraft are referred to as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) when they are capable of interacting with ANSPs in a manner similar to traditional manned aircraft (i.e. on an IFR flight plan). RPAS are certified by a regulator and flown with a licensed pilot who is directly involved with flight operations. To date, RPAS are primarily used to support military and national security operations. Recent experiences of RPAS operations and their interaction with the ATM system indicate that currently, RPAS are unable to comply with many routine