Skye Air, India’s largest SaaS based autonomous drone logistics provider, and the Government of Himachal Pradesh have signed a MoU to deploy UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) across the state. The MoU signifies a significant milestone in advancing the safety and efficiency of unmanned aerial operations in the State of Himachal Pradesh.
As the only indigenous unmanned traffic management system in India, Skye UTM provides automated airspace traffic management, generating approvals, and coordinating drone movements without manual intervention. It serves as the foundation for next-generation air traffic management systems, ensuring safety and security in the rapidly growing drone industry.
Himachal Pradesh, with its thriving industrial sectors in agriculture, hydroelectric power, cement, and tourism, has a crucial need for drones in various applications. The state’s mountainous terrain and limited road network during the monsoon and winter seasons create an opportunity for aerial trade routes, including drone transportation. With the increasing activity in the state’s airspace, factors such as weather and terrain make the deployment of the UTM system critical for managing airspace and ensuring the safety of all air traffic.
The partnership between Skye Air and the Government of Himachal Pradesh aims to achieve two main objectives. Firstly, Skye Air will deploy a state-wide UTM solution, including the setup of a UTM dashboard for all stakeholders, onboarding eligible pilots, training stakeholders on the UTM platform. Secondly, the Government of Himachal Pradesh will provide support, data, and information necessary for the frictionless operation of the project. It will ensure the integration of all pilots and state-owned drones with the UTM system, facilitating the tracking of drone flight operations for internal security and maintaining law and order.
Ankit Kumar, CEO of Skye Air, stated, “Skye UTM is India’s only indigenous unmanned traffic management system, which will revolutionize the way drones operate in our airspace. With its advanced capabilities and real-time tracking, Skye UTM will enhance navigation, risk assessment, and connectivity for all drone operators. This partnership with the Government of Himachal Pradesh aligns with our vision of developing a robust and secure drone ecosystem.”
The deployment of the Skye UTM system will greatly contribute to the safety and efficiency of unmanned aerial operations in Himachal Pradesh. The cloud-based UTM platform connects and communicates with various types of drones, ensuring the tracking and organization of drone traffic to build a safe airspace. It provides a comprehensive view of the drone airspace, real-time UAV movements, and verified paths. With over 1000 successful drone flights already supported, the UTM system offers better navigation, risk assessment, and traffic management for drone operators.
The UTM system will benefit drone operators and the general public by offering real-time, low-latency infrastructure for tracking and predicting drone movements. It captures over 255 parameters of drone flights and provides a systematic description of each flight in its ‘Blackbox.’ Furthermore, the UTM system integrates with manned aviation, such as helicopters and planes, ensuring a well-managed and coordinated airspace.
The Skye UTM system supports various drone applications, including delivery services, agriculture, and surveillance. All drone activities, both recreational and professional, are supported, requiring pilots to register and utilise maps for optimal use of the UTM platform and be more compliant with the prevailing regulations.
To facilitate the successful implementation and usage of the UTM system, Skye Air will conduct workshops to educate local stakeholders, including drone operators and authorities, on the usage and advantages of the UTM system. These workshops will provide hands-on training and updates on the platform, ensuring that all stakeholders are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate within the UTM framework.
The UTM system implementation in Himachal Pradesh will follow a phased approach. Phase I includes integration of government-registered drones, pilot training, and open registration for private drones in the Shimla district. Phase II expands to larger areas, integrating manned traffic from airports and helipads with UTM. Phase III focuses on implementing UTM in remaining districts based on priority and departmental requirements. This ensures a systematic and efficient deployment of the UTM system across the state.
The deployment of the UTM system in Himachal Pradesh holds significant potential economic and social impacts for the state. Aerial trade routes facilitated by drones will contribute to the growth of various industries, including healthcare supplies, agri-commodities, groceries, and managing deliveries during disaster situations. The widespread adoption of drones across different sectors will create new opportunities, boost efficiency, and indirectly benefit the economy.
This collaboration between Skye Air and the Government of Himachal Pradesh aligns with the broader framework of technological advancements and regulatory developments in the drone industry, both nationally and internationally. As the need for security and surveillance in the drone industry continues to grow, the adoption of UTM systems becomes crucial. The successful implementation of the UTM system in Himachal Pradesh will serve as a foundation for its nationwide adoption, ensuring security, surveillance, and efficient traffic management.