Unifly and CanardDrones show real capabilities, reliability for drone operations in Finland

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The ability to perform natural drone operations inside the normal manned operations at an airport has been duly proved at Pori airport in Finland, last May 17th. For 13 hours, CanardDrones, ANS Finland and Unifly worked together performing six 40 minutes inspection batches in full coordination and with full reliability of all systems. During this operation ILS and PAPI systems where inspected by drones using unmanned traffic management solutions provided by Unifly.

ANS Finland was proud to organize such test event where we could demonstrate both Drone PAPI and Ils Inspections and UTM solution ability at the same time. We managed to offer such conditions where the operations were concluded within ATC opening hours mixing both ATM and UTM operations.

team picture PORI

“There is definitely a demand for such new age operating forms in the near future. We are facing a rapidly changing environment where we expect to see more and more Drone operations near and inside ATM environment. We are now in the beginning of a new era but we must remember that there are still many steps to be taking before all new solutions and working methods are in full scale operational use. The tests we made together with Canard Drones and Unifly were really promising and we could definitely see the positive signs in the air," said Pasi Nikama, ANS Finland CCO & CMO.

CanardDrones showed its capabilities doing a PAPI verification in just 5:35 minutes, using a 10 minutes slot provided by the ATC. This operation encompassed the ATC and UTM coordination to allow CanardDrones operate the system between civil and military flights, without a NOTAM request.

“It was truly amazing. We were doing something for the first time in history and all the operation was performed as a ballet. Fast, safe and coordinated" said Rafael Aguado, CanardDrones COO.  

Unifly added their UTM ability to this live demonstration and delivered a successful integration of unmanned aviation into the operational environment of Pori airport. Via the Unifly software solution, the air traffic controller had full situational of awareness of all drone flights in the demonstration and handled them safely side by side with manned aviation.

“The demonstration was a complete success with all systems collaborating side by side, reliably and constantly during the very long timeslot. We worked alongside for 13 hours and were still able to create very fast interventions in a completely new way. I see this as a historical moment for unmanned aviation and I am proud that our solution provided full situational of awareness to the air traffic controller in the tower. As we saw during the demonstration, the air traffic controller was able to confidently operate both manned and unmanned aviation in a flexible, efficient and safe manner." said Ronni Winkler Østergaard, Unifly Regional Manager, Scandinavia and Baltics.

CanardDrones is adding new capabilities to its portfolio of inspection and calibration services, that means a real breakthrough in NAVAIDS calibration and inspection world. This achievement will open the door to a whole new dimension of joint operations, and finally the drones will be integrated seamlessly into normal operation of airports. Pori joints and increasing number of airports that already tested CanardDrones capabilities, paving the way to this technology that provides unpaired flexibility, availability and saves resources to airports, being environmentally friendly.

About ANS Finland. ANS Finland is responsible for managing the use of Finnish airspace as well as providing flight route and air navigation services at airports in Finland. En-route services include area control services in Finland, airspace management, aeronautical search and rescue and air traffic flow management.

About CanardDrones. CanardDrones is a Spanish company that provides a breakthrough technology to calibrate and inspect NAVAIDs using drones. We received more than 16 different awards during the first year, including the airport innovation award and the Hello Tomorrow Challenge. We also received the support from the European Space Agency, through its Business incubator center.

About Unifly. Unifly's Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) platform connects official entities with operators to integrate drones into the airspace safely and securely. This makes it possible to not only follow the drones in real-time, but also to determine who is flying where and whether they are supposed to be there. In line with European initiative U-space that aims to make denser traffic of automated drone operations possible, Unifly's technology includes flight planning, airspace approval, live tracking and dynamic situational awareness.