Major interest in digital airspace management at Rotterdam port

19 March 2024
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The ‘U-Space Revolution in Rotterdam’ event, organised by Port of Rotterdam Authority and DronePort Rotterdam, drew 220 visitors from 15 countries. This big turnout demonstrates the growing interest in the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s innovative approach, which started a year and a half ago: U-Space Airspace, a digital airspace management system for both drone as well as crewed air traffic in the lower-level air space.

On the one hand, the project was set up to learn how the port of Rotterdam can use U-Space for a safe and efficient port and on the other to support the growing demand for drone applications. Eurocontrol, co-designer of the U-Space regulations, described the Rotterdam U-Space prototype as a valuable experience for the international community.

Various developments were presented during the event, including automated procedures for registering flight areas, new map layers with shipping and crewed aviation data and solutions for drone operators in no-fly zones or vessels with dangerous goods. The afternoon programme consisted of live demonstrations of drones transporting heavy packages to the Thialf vessel in the Calandkanaal, which illustrates potential future applications thanks to the Airspace Centre traffic control.

Oscar van Veen on stage during U-Space Revolution
Photo: Roy Borghouts Fotografie