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Integrating Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems into Non-Segregated Airspace


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By Major André Haider, DEU Army, JAPCC
By Laura Samsó, ESP, Centurion Technologies Consulting LLC

In recent years, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) have been the aviation industry’s most dynamic growth sector and this trend is expected to continue. Market studies estimate that worldwide spending on RPAS will nearly double over the next decade, totalling almost $91 billion in the next ten years.1 The majority of these projected investments will be attributed to the military sector, but international companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon are also running their own RPAS programmes to suit their future requirements. However, RPAS are currently only allowed to operate in a segregated volume of airspace, which is typically restricted to other airspace users in order to avoid any danger of collision. Additionally, RPAS are usually kept away from densely populated areas, so as not to endanger humans on the ground. Nevertheless, once permitted, RPAS are expected to become a significant component within any class of airspace, presently dominated by manned aviation. Consequently, the safe integration of RPAS into non-segregated airspace is currently a key issue in the military and civil aviation community.

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