The Port of Hamburg is hosting a traffic system pilot which will allow flights in areas with a high volume of drones to be carried out in coordination with manned air traffic.
According to Droniq, one of the companies involved in the pilot, the U-Space is being run at a cost of approximately €1 million ($1.18 million) and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).
Drones are increasingly being used commercially for construction site inspections, route surveys, fabric transport, Droniq said. For this, drone flights must be easy and feasible at short notice.
This is a requirement that is not always feasible, especially in areas with a high volume of drones, due to the high administrative costs and sometimes lengthy flight approval processes.
Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer said, “Innovative, intelligent, networked – this is what the future looks like for drones in Germany.
“We are now launching Germany’s first test field for a drone airspace in Hamburg and creating the conditions for the transport system of the future. In the U-Space Sandbox, we are testing in practice how drones and, in the future, air taxis can be integrated safely and intelligently into the airspace.
“Especially for logistics, as support for emergency services or for supplying rural areas, drones are a clean, fast and smart mobility solution. With the U-Space Sandbox, we are taking drone innovations made in Germany out of the niche and into the air.”
Droniq CEO Jan-Eric Putze was quoted, “In the future, the U-Space will also allow the full potential of the drone to be used in urban areas within a given framework.
“For unmanned aerial transport, this is a milestone. We are proud to show for the first time what this future can look like.”
Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economic Affairs and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, commented, “The Port of Hamburg offers the best conditions for testing a transport system for drones and evaluating the opportunities and challenges.
“Used wisely, drones offer enormous opportunities in the most diverse areas of business and society.
“With the U-Space Sandbox, I see the opportunity to test potentials of a new air transport under real conditions and to actively participate in its development. That is why I am pleased about the decision of the Federal Ministry of Transport to support the project in Hamburg.”