One size fits all? – Challenges and opportunities for global UTM convergence


Tuesday 19 March

12:00pm - 12:50pm


Future Skies Theatre


Session Overview

Over a decade of effort towards development of UAS Traffic Management (UTM) has resulted in a number of different Concepts of Operation (CONOPS), demonstration ecosystems, and regional deployments across the world. In all locations where UTM is in use, there are unique challenges (regulatory, technical, financial, and political) that individually shape the deployments and present barriers to a single unified global approach. However, despite these challenges, there are also significant benefits that can come from pooling available financial and innovative energy towards common goals, rather than dividing those efforts across a variety of bespoke solutions. How realistic is it to think that a single common UTM CONOPS can take hold? What is the best architecture for cost, safety, or innovative growth? Can there be one size of UTM that fits all deployments?

Across the world we see models for UTM deployment varying in nearly every dimension. Each UTM system must choose between federated or centralized architectures. The systems themselves can be fully owned by regional governments, ANSPs, or administered directly through industry. Important choices must be made in terms of prioritization, equitable access to airspace, different schemes governing strategic conflict management, and various differences in determining who has a say in granting an approval, and how that approval is determined and distributed. Given these differences, what can be done to create a unified approach that also has enough flexibility to accommodate necessary differences? Where must we choose, and where is there room for variation? What has been tried so far, and how is it going? Who are even the right organizations to promote and standardize this harmonization?

In this panel, we will assemble a diverse group of experts, representing different regions of the world (US, EU, and Asia Pacific), as well as different perspectives within the systems (industry, ANSP, and regulatory) for a lively discussion of just these questions.

This panel will lay out the various concerns that lead us to different solutions. It will show how different services can be used flexibly with increasing levels of regulatory oversight and centralization. We’ll talk about the benefits of either approach from a safety, reliability, cost and innovation perspective. And we’ll draw comparisons to other industries who have successfully addressed similar challenges.

Session Speakers

Subject Areas

Future Skies Theatre
Unleashing the Potential of Drones
Innovation and Digital Transformation in ATM