Airspace management is a complex system of sophisticated technology, software, and skilled operators and administrators. This is why AirMap, a company developing an unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM), signed a strategic agreement with Raytheon.

With decades of experience in building traditional ATM systems for manned aircraft in the United States, Raytheon will help AirMap with future projects to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace system and unlock the positive economic and social benefits of expanded commercial drone operations.

For a few years now, AirMap has done some advancements with the deployment of a UTM both in Europe and in the US. Earlier this year we connected with Ben Marcus, Co-Founder & Chairman of AirMap, to understand the UTM and U-space challenges of today. Earlier this year, the company was also selected to support NASA and FAA UTM research project as a program partner for both NASA’s TCL4 trials in Texas and Nevada, as well as the FAA’s UAS Traffic Management Pilot Program (UPP) at Virginia Tech.

According to AirMap, this recent agreement will help both companies “to develop solutions that provide a complete, real-time view of manned and unmanned flights in U.S. airspace and improve airspace safety and security”. Additionally, AirMap will leverage Raytheon’s Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS), which is used by air traffic controllers across the U.S. to provide safe and efficient aircraft spacing and sequencing guidance for more than 40,000 departing and arriving aircraft daily at both civilian and military airports.

"Raytheon technology has helped safely and effectively manage airspace in the most complex, dense controlled airspace in the world for decades," said Ben Marcus, AirMap Co-founder and Chairman. "They are an ideal partner to join AirMap on the path toward enabling safe, efficient, and scalable drone operations in U.S. low-altitude airspace between 0 and 400 feet."

Towards the end of the year, EASA is also working on a proposal to the European Commission for U-space service regulation to enable complex drone operations with a high degree of automation. This should help AirMap to further develop and adapt its U-Space platform to the European market.

Right now, AirMap is currently working with Raytheon “on a joint demonstration that will combine AirMap’s UTM platform with Raytheon’s manned aircraft intelligence to enhance air traffic controllers’ awareness of potential conflict between drones and manned aircraft near airports”.