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20 August 2019
by Eero Pärgmäe
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First drone flew from Estonia to Finland

What-is-understood to be the world’s first successful international drone delivery mission under the management of an independent UTM system – certainly the world’s first over-sea international drone delivery under UTM control – took place across the Baltic with the flight of a drone taking off from Estonia and landing in Finland.

For the first time in history a drone flew from Estonia to Finland over the Gulf of Finland.  Threod Systems Stream UAV took-off from Muraste and landed 1:10 h later in Torbacka. The trial was part of the SESAR U-Space Gulf of Finland (GOF) project which has the goal of building and demonstrating a FIMS capable of managing different live visual line of sight (VLOS) and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) missions simultaneously by competing tactical UAS traffic management service providers.

The GOF U-space project with a broad consortium of 19 members demonstrates that Europe is on course with its implementation of U-space, an initiative that aims to ensure safe and secure drone traffic management, taking into account the rapid growth in the use of drones. The GOF concept enables shared situational awareness for all aviation stakeholders. The success of the project is based on deep Air Traffic Management (ATM) experience of the consortium members, including three world-leading UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) technology vendors and two Air Navigation Services Providers, developing interoperability and data-sharing solutions which are aligned with SESAR JU’s overall U-space architecture. In addition to air traffic management, large-scale drone use will rely on scalable radio communication systems (e.g. mobile networks) and weather information, which are also trialled in the project.

This U-Space project is one of several research projects of the SESAR Joint Undertaking, which has received funding within the framework of the European Union’s Connection Europe Facility (CEF) programme under grant agreement SJU/LC/343-CTR.

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