World ATM Congress 2021, recently held in Madrid, presented an opportunity for companies and industry partners to come together in-person and discuss exactly what it will take to thrive in the post-COVID world.

From new and innovative ways to bolster sustainability, to management of new entrants into the airspace, to the future of space tourism, World ATM Congress 2021 demonstrated that the future is in the clouds and take off isn’t far away.

For our readers that were not able to attend, Connected Aviation Today captured some of the biggest moments and highlights from the event:

Inmarsat and the EU Team Up for a Greener Airspace

In an increasingly eco-conscious world, air passengers are looking for ways to travel in a more sustainable manner. While many in the industry are working on new eco-friendly fuels or more streamlined aircraft, Inmarsat and the European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP) agreed to bring a space satellite Air Traffic Management (ATM) system to Europe by 2023. The agreement outlined a system that will use satellites to guide flights across the continent and find more efficient and less carbon-intense flight plans, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of air travel.

Inmarsat added further information on the announcement, sharing that the two entities are working on the final testing, certification, and integration phase of its Iris air traffic modernization program. With commercial rollout expected in the coming two years, the new program provides an example for other national airspaces looking to further meet their sustainability goals.

The Future is Here for the European Air Space

As with nearly every industry, digital transformation is changing the ATM sector. Industry leaders are quickly adapting and embracing initiatives that will enable a more data-driven future.

Executives from Indra and EUROCONTROL took the stage together at World ATM Congress 2021 and discussed the specific ways that embracing a data-focused ATM system will create a more efficient and sustainable ecosystem. Leveraging digital technology, both organizations believe that the future of European and world aviation is in the digital realm, it is just a matter of finding the right ways to integrate new technology to realize its potential.

Unmanned; Unmatched

Raytheon Intelligence and Space demonstrated a new Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) traffic management solution during World ATM Congress 2021, which showcased the advancements made in the pursuit of autonomous aircraft. With the national airspace of many countries now coming down from the clouds and into the cities, the use of these types of small, unmanned aircraft represents untapped potential for the future of the industry. Working with the FAA, Raytheon’s demonstration added to the growing number of tests that seek to prove the safety, efficacy, and reliability of not just the unmanned aircraft but the guidance systems that operate them.

Galileo Figaro Magnifico

The European Union Agency for the Space Programme recently announced the winners of the myGalileoDrone award, which tasked individuals with developing a drone capable of doing any number of tasks. Participants had to design, develop, test, and prepare for a commercial launch of a drone-based application and/or service able to provide a position and/or time fix by using a Galileo-enabled receiver.

Entrants submitted designs for drones that bolster urban air mobility, delivered parcels and eCommerce, could perform infrastructure inspection, surveillance, and myriad other uses. Each submission contributed to the ever-increasing number of practical applications for unmanned aircraft systems and demonstrated that the opening of the urban airspace is a fruitful avenue for both consumers and the industry.

To learn more about World ATM Congress 2021, click here.

About Kevin Tierney

Kevin is an Editor for Connected Aviation Today and contributes content and helps drive the editorial strategy for the site. Kevin covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of public sector technology and federal government modernization initiatives. Kevin brings to the team his background in US Government operations and various technology channels specifically cloud based information sharing services and monitoring platforms.