The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) says it is beginning the process of developing low-altitude traffic management guidance for drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
“Multiple states and regional groups have activities under way to establish a UAS airspace management tool for lower altitudes, and ICAO’s work … will help to facilitate harmonized solutions which are safe, secure, sustainable and, most importantly, globally aligned,” ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu said earlier this week as ICAO announced a global conference on drones to be held Sept. 13–14 in Chengdu, China.
The conference will explore new solutions in coordinating the development of drone activities and the safe integration of drone traffic management systems and existing conventional air traffic management (ATM), ICAO said.
World governments asked ICAO in 2016 to develop “a practical regulatory framework” for national UAS activities along with standards already under development for international operations.
ICAO Council President Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said that, with numerous new UAS innovations and new proposals for their operation at low altitudes, ICAO is “the natural agency” to coordinate efforts to safely integrate UAS into modern airspace.