The Port of Rotterdam is setting up a U-Space Airspace prototype, to test in practice how it should organise the airspace over the port and keep it safe.
o achieve its target, the Port Authority has entered into a partnership agreement with software supplier Airwayz. Airwayz supplies the Unmanned Traffic Management system (UTM), which offers air traffic control services for very-low-level (VLL) airspace. These services are used by drone operators and include flight permission and deconfliction services.
First of all, it is essential that manned and unmanned flights in the lowest airspace are visualised. The protocols, procedures, agreements and risk profiles with respect to airspace are drawn up by the Port of Rotterdam Authority as the port manager and by the government as the legislator.
The prototype will take two years and will start in December 2022. The prototype is intended to identify the practical implications of controlling the lowest airspace and to gain insight into what the role of the Port Authority in all of this might look like.
In addition, it should reveal prerequisites of keeping drone airspace safe, the opportunities for drone operators in the port, and the impact of drone traffic control on the organisation.
The U-Space Airspace prototype will also play a role in the roll-out in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. The prototype has also been prepared in line with the stipulations of European regulations.
Recently, the Port tested a drone that is focused on sea-going and inland shipping inspections. These inspections examine bunkering, water pollution, ship-to-ship transfer, zoning for hazardous substances, shore-to-ship transfer, air pollution, and repairs on board vessels.