Collins Aerospace has received a three-year grant from the European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (EU CINEA) and SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking (JU) to develop an unmanned flight ecosystem in Ireland through the delivery of a Digital Sky Demonstrator on U-Space.

Collins Aerospace will collaborate with a number of Irish aviation companies to construct an end-to-end ecosystem at a Shannon vertiport that supports the safe operation of unmanned flight. The new ecosystem will utilize a variety of products from across Collins Aerospace’s portfolios to facilitate the safe integration of conventional and unmanned aircraft operations.

Together with Future Mobility Campus Ireland, Avtrain, the Irish Aviation Authority, Shannon Airport, Manna Drone Delivery, and Deep Blue, engineering work for the ecosystem will be conducted in Ireland and France. Together with Collins, these companies from France, Ireland, and Italy have formed the ÉAL-AER (Irish for Escape-Air, Enhanced Automation for U-Space/ATM integration) consortium to support unmanned aviation and U-Space capabilities for the development of the future of air-mobility. These capabilities will then be delivered via SESAR 3 and additional European collaborative efforts.

“This award will help us work with our partners to create new opportunities in Ireland to support safe and connected unmanned flight,” said Boe Svatek, Unmanned Systems Value Stream leader for Collins Aerospace. “As a founding member of the SESAR 3 JU, we can actively support its quest to modernize European air traffic management.”

The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is an institutionalized European partnership between private and public sector partners to accelerate the delivery of the Digital European Sky through research and innovation.