Image: Frequentis

Frequentis and Avinor have won the ‘Overall Excellence’ at the Air Traffic Management (ATM) Awards in Geneva.

The award recognised Avinor, Frequentis, and Norwegian Air Ambulance for safe and effective integration of drones into traditional airspace.

Frequentis and Avinor were also runner-up for the Sustainability Award for significantly reducing carbon emissions through Continuous Climb and Descent Operations at Oslo airport.

Avinor, the airport operator and Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) of Norway has been working on a project to increase safety for the air ambulance and drone operators in Norway through data sharing. A key challenge was sharing the information of planned and active drone flights with emergency helicopters operated by the Norwegian Air Ambulance. These helicopters often operate in dynamic and high-pressure environments, and the added workload of looking for drones needed to be addressed.

“The complex and innovative project has required careful planning and coordination to ensure the safe and efficient integration of drones alongside traditional aircraft. The UTM (uncrewed traffic management) system delivered by Frequentis provides a common information system (CIS) able to distribute data from drone flight applications to third party systems, allowing pilots to visualise the airspace usage in real time,” said Hannu Juurakko, Frequentis executive vice president ATM civil and chairman Frequentis ATM executive board.

“We are delighted that we have won the Overall Excellence ATM Award with Avinor. As airspace entrants grow, the ability to manage different types of traffic at different altitudes is becoming increasingly complex, however, our innovative solutions are helping to streamline both ATM and UTM.”

“This has been a very interesting and challenging project for all parties involved, and we are very happy to receive this acknowledgment,” said Axel Knutsen, vice president of Avinors Drone Programme. “Safety is our top priority, and we are very glad that we could develop this new feature to improve safety for both drone operators and the Norwegian Air Ambulance. This is only the first use case where we share data with a third party, many more will come as the industry continues to grow.”

The annual ATM Awards acknowledge companies and projects for their work across five categories: Airspace Management, Sustainability, Collaboration, Shaping our Future Skies, and Innovation, with Frequentis shortlisted with its customers in four projects across two of the categories. There was then a final category, in which the judges rated who they thought should be the Overall Excellence winner, with Frequentis and Avinor honoured with this special accolade.

Pioneering concepts

The awards, run by Air Traffic Management Magazine, aim to encourage pioneering concepts and acknowledge significant achievements in the performance areas of safety, innovation, cost efficiency, and environmental responsibility. Judges this year included a variety of representatives across the ATM and UTM industries, coming from Air Traffic Management Magazine, CANSO, EUROCONTROL, NASA, Thales, Unmanned Airspace Magazine, Verizon, and Wing.

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