Avinor ANS, Norwegian Air Navigation Services, has contracted Frequentis to extend its existing unmanned traffic management (UTM) system to enable safe and efficient UTM service provision around offshore platforms in the Norwegian North Sea. The contract, within a framework agreement between Frequentis and Avinor, will allow UTM service provision by an authorised third party UTM operator to supervise and manage drone traffic around their key infrastructure assets sustainably.

The extension of Avinor`s UTM system to support other industries highlights the importance of a secure, safe and efficient UTM data exchange based on Frequentis’ MosaiX SWIM platform as Flight Information Management System (FIMS). Avinor’s UTM infrastructure is unlocking the potential of full autonomous operations for Norwegian offshore industries. Autonomous Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operations, coupled with seamless UTM/ATM integration, will more sustainably serve the offshore industry, contributing to lower C02 emissions as well as enhancing safety and efficiency.

“We are proud to have worked with Frequentis to implement the first Nordic UTM system and even prouder that it now allows the addition of third-party services, enabling drone related business,” says Axel Knutsen, Vice President UTM, Avinor ANS.

Avinor has been working with Frequentis since 2020 on the implementation of a nationwide UTM system for 17 airport towers across Norway, testing it in a real-world environment at two airport towers and since deploying the remote, cloud-based system to all 17 airport towers. The project fully supports Norway’s future drone strategy and in 2021 also won an ATM Magazine award for ATM/UTM integration.

“When we began this UTM project with Avinor we promised a technically advanced solution able to scale and this is exactly what we are proving with this system extension, supporting, not only the 18 nationwide airports but now also, authorised UTM service provision in a third-party airspace where helicopter flights are common. Providing an infrastructure as a service that allows the safe integration of both crewed and uncrewed aerial vehicles into Norwegian airspace is the goal we are working on together with Avinor, and the addition of the offshore industry further highlights Avinor as an innovative and safety focused service provider,” says Guenter Graf, Frequentis Vice President New Business Development.

By providing MosaiX SWIM as the FIMS, or Common Information Service Function (CIS), Frequentis underlines its capability to provide a cloud based UTM infrastructure as a service to clients. The UTM extension for Avinor ANS is set to go live in summer 2022, ready for use by Equinor, an international energy company committed renewables and low-carbon solutions.

“Equinor initiated a project on drone-based logistics four years ago. We have had close cooperation with Avinor throughout the project and are pleased to see that UTM now is becoming a reality. This has been a joint effort, and will be an enabler for Equinor, as we continue to mature and prepare for safe and efficient operations with drones in the North Sea,” says Espen Wanvik, Project Leader for Logistical Drones in Equinor.