PURCELLVILLE, Va., February 1, 2021 — The National League of Cities welcomes Purcellville to their Unmanned Air Mobility Integration Advisory Forum of cities and towns to advise the federal government on efforts to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, into the United States airspace. Mayor Kwasi Fraser will represent the town on this newly formed working group, which will provide strategic advice to the range of government and industry sectors who are advancing drone integration technology into the complex airspace above communities and ensure there is substantial coordination among all levels of government.
This new forum is comprised of approximately twenty-five large and small cities and towns with roles in managing airports of different sizes, transportation planning, and strategic technology deployments. The communities will be providing directional insight to key government partners on the upcoming drone identification rulemaking, concepts of operations, necessary elements of Unmanned Traffic Management systems, and essential principles of operations shared amongst industry stakeholders and partners in aviation.
The first meeting of the forum was held Friday, January 29, 2021.
Background on the FAA’s Concept of Operations (ConOps) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM)
In 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) NextGen Office released an initial overarching Concept of Operations (V1.0) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) that presented a vision and described the associated operational and technical requirements for developing a supporting architecture and operating within a UTM ecosystem. UTM is defined as the manner in which the FAA will support operations for UAS operating in low altitude airspace. UTM utilizes industry’s ability to supply services under the FAA’s regulatory authority where these services do not currently exist.
The FAA updated this Concept of Operations (ConOps) to document the continued maturation of UTM and share the vision with government and industry stakeholders. UTM ConOps V2.0 continues to focus on UTM operations below 400 feet above ground level (AGL), but also addresses increasingly more complex operations within and across both uncontrolled (Class G) and controlled (Classes B, C, D, E) airspace environments. V2.0 updates and expands the set of operational scenarios, describing more complex operations in denser airspace, including beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations in controlled airspace. V2.0 includes updated descriptions of/approaches to several UTM components,
including UAS Volume Reservations (previously referred to as Dynamic Restrictions), Performance Authorizations, data archiving and access, USS service categories, UTM/ATM contingency notification, and security aspects associated with UTM operations. V2.0 also introduces new topics including Airspace Authorization for BVLOS flight within controlled airspace, UTM architecture support to remote identification of UAS Operators, and standards development efforts with industry as an integral part of enabling UTM operations.