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The ARIANE consortium has successfully completed the first simultaneous flight of a civil RPAS and manned aircraft in a Spanish airport

July 1st 2016

CATEC participated in this European project of R&D which was led by Indra and whose flight tests were conducted at the Jaen Center for Experimental ATLAS Flights

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The European consortium ARIANE, which leads the multinational Spanish technology company Indra, and which also involved CATEC, CRIDA, and ENAIRE, has successfully completed the first tests of simultaneous flight in a conventional airport of an aircraft piloted remotely (RPAS/UAS) and a manned aircraft.

This was one of the first flying experiences developed in Europe so that an unmanned aircraft can operate in the traffic area of a conventional airfield. The European ARIANE project, part of the SESAR programme, thus allows further integration of these aircraft in non-segregated airspace, the same used by manned aircraft. Also, the success of these tests is an important step to the project partners, which are positioned at the forefront in the area of research and development for the integration of such systems in environments of air traffic control (ATC).

The flight programme was held in our ATLAS Experimental Flight Center, attached to FADA-CATEC and located in Villacarrillo (Jaén). The exercises were carried out in two distinct phases. In the first, an unmanned fixed-wing CATEC aircraft (Viewer) flew, executing maneuvers in the airfield while the MRI manned aircraft P2006T Indra simultaneously operated, under the supervision of a controller.

In the second phase of flight, an unmanned helicopter with approach procedure, vertical guidance, and instrument landing abilities was used and was validated based on satellite navigation. Thus, the ability of these aircraft to operate at an airport under the same conditions as other aircraft was proven.

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