Unifly, the European aviation software company that developed an important UTM system for Europe, has opened its first office in the United States, New York.
As the use of drones for professional applications is growing fast, the need for a UTM system becomes a necessity to efficiently and safely manage the unmanned/manned aerospace. Marketing & Communications Manager Ellen Malfliet said the company offers the only platform that connects official entities with operators to safely integrate drones into the air space.
“Authorities can visualize and manage drone flights and declare no-fly zones, while drone operators can plan, track and validate their drones and flights in line with international and local regulation,” Malfliet mentioned. “Privacy, safety and interoperability are other key aspects. Unifly collaborates through the Global UTM Association to strive towards interoperability with other UTM platforms as well as ATM systems used for manned aviation.”
As a partner in the NUAIR alliance, the New York based coalition of over 100 companies who collaborate in UAS test ranges along the East Coast, Unifly thinks expanding its software to the US’ fast-growing market is the best move, said CEO Marc Kegelaers. Also, its partnership with Thales, the French company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace – including the US – helps with the process.
“All of that is done in close collaboration with Thales,” Kegelaers added. “As to the practical side, we’re happy to count on the collaboration of Belcham who’s providing unique infrastructure that makes it possible to take our first step across the ocean.”
In regards of how easy it is to adapt the platform to a new nation and its different laws and regulations, the company is confident their experience will give them the insight they need.
“Having started in the highly varied European structures, the move to the single US sky is far easier than it would be the other way around,” Malfliet said. “The Unifly platform is designed from the start to incorporate hyperlocal, accurate aeronautical navigation data to provide reliable and trustworthy data for your location. The laws and regulations are part of the reliable data we use that also includes NOTAMs, meet, obstacles and no-fly zones.“
Unifly is involved in several international standardization bodies that are defining the interoperability standard, which will be part of the platform. As the drone industry keeps evolving, Unifly is constantly expanding and upgrading its offering.
In the near future, the company will be implementing and support the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) concept.