U-space will be opened to drones in German airspace beginning in 2023

The subsidiary of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG, HHLA Sky, is actively participating in the LUV project, which uses so-called U-Spaces to open up airspaces for drone applications in Germany.

From January 2023, the first U-Spaces can be created in Germany, providing a digital infrastructure for the efficient management of drone traffic - especially in urban areas. To ensure that implementation in Germany takes place as quickly as possible, a project consortium made up of representatives from public authorities, research and industry is concentrating its expertise in the joint project LUV: “Lösungen und Handlungsempfehlungen für die nationale Umsetzung der U-Space-Verordnung”; in English: Solutions and recommendations for action to implement the U-space regulation in national law. LUV is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) for 15 months with approximately 870,000 euros.

The project, in which HHLA Sky is actively participating, is intended to organize the collective use of this kind of airspace. Of course, drones already share airspace with manned aircraft for a variety of different uses. Yet the necessary laws and options for regulating traffic need to be adapted to fit the dynamic changes in the drone market.

“U-space is desperately needed, especially in urban regions, to make drone traffic safer and more efficient,” says Lothar Müller, one of HHLA Sky’s two managing directors. “Our aim with LUV is not just to make recommendations for a legal framework – it’s to create a complex air traffic system that will serve as a role model across Europe, in order to take advantage of the enormous potential for the application of drones as soon as possible.”

LUV’s project partners: LUV is funded by the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV). The lead manager of the project is Helmut Schmidt University/University of the Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg. The other universities involved in LUV are the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) and HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU). Alongside HHLA Sky, corporate partners of the project are Droniq and German air traffic control DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung). The Hamburg Ministry for Economic and Labour Affairs (BWI) is also a partner.

Background on U-space: The EU Commission adopted the U-space regulation, which lays out the regulatory foundation for U-space airspaces in all EU states, in April 2021. The regulation enters into force on 26 January 2023. However, it allows the member states to design the airspaces as they see fit. The LUV project is supporting the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) in making the best possible use of this freedom of design in implementing the regulation in national law. Another aim of the LUV project is to develop procedures for local authorities and agencies to participate in designating U-space airspaces. Corresponding forms of participation will be developed as part of a U-space planning workshop.

Further information on the LUV project can be found here: www.luv-projekt.de

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HHLA Sky / Spice VR

HHLA Sky drone in front of the façade of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie

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