Integration of UAVs into air traffic: Study contract signed
During the meeting of national armament directors at the Paris Air Show, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden put the European Defence Agency (EDA) in charge of launching programme MIDCAS (MID-air Collision Avoidance System). This programme is to enable UAVs to fly in the global airspace alongside other aircraft.
The MIDCAS programme will be allocated a € 50 million budget over 48 months. It will bring together fourteen manufacturers and research centres from its five contributing nations, including SAGEM Defence & Security and Thales Airborne Systems. Sweden was entrusted with the project leadership and Saab Aerosystems with the coordination of subcontractors.
Today, UAVs cannot operate outside restricted and provisional areas, which limits their use for military, civil and security applications. The MIDCAS programme aims at demonstrating that UAVs can fly safely in an undivided airspace thanks to technological solutions like the “sense and avoid” system. This system enables to avoid potential collisions and respond with appropriate manoeuvres. It is the automated transposition of the “see and avoid” procedure used by pilots to UAVs.
Programme MIDCAS will be developed in close collaboration with the relevant European bodies, that is the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), the European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) and the European Agency for Air Safety (EASA). It will also be coordinated with the US, with organizations such as the radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).