PANSA joins the fight against coronavirus


Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) has accelerated work on putting its system – PansaUTM – to a practical use, in order to support the fight against the coronavirus.

PansaUTM managed by PANSA is not only the first unmanned traffic management system in Europe to be operationally implemented and accredited by an air traffic agency, but now it has also proven its effectiveness.

On Wednesday, 29th of April, a pilot project was carried out to transport samples for testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus using a cargo drone. The flight beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) was operated between Hospital in Wołoska Street and Hospital in Banacha Street. Such flights would not be possible had new regulations regarding BVLOS not been implemented on the 31st of January 2019.

PansaUTM allows for coordination of unmanned aircraft flights and digital management of requests and approvals of flight plans. The project took place in the most demanding environment of Warsaw – the biggest city in Poland, in the controlled airspace of Chopin Airport (CTR Warszawa) and in the area of operation of air medical services.

The drone with a cargo module was flown between the two hospital’s landing pads. The package with the samples was loaded into the drone at the first Hospital and then transported to the University’s Hospital. The whole operation including loading and unloading took only around 15 minutes, the flight itself only being around 3 minutes.

Use of drones for medical transport in the times of pandemic could not only accelerate the transport of samples for testing for the presence of the virus, but also optimize supply chains from hospitals to certified laboratories helping use them to their full potential.

“It is a step towards thinking of a practical use for drones in different aspects of everyday life, or in this case the possible use of drones in the fight against the coronavirus” says Janusz Janiszewski, PANSA CEO. “Such advances flight service including visualizing the drone’s location in real-time combined with basic flight parameters thanks to the dedicated transmitters and receivers would not be possible without PansaUTM – a solution allowing for a safe coordination of UAV flights, which translates into a possibility to integrate unmanned aviation into conventional, manned traffic”, Janiszewski adds.

Poland is one of the first countries in the world where the unmanned aircraft market was promptly and comprehensively regulated. There are legislative solutions in place and, thanks to PansaUTM, also operational system that has been approved for operational use by the CAA, fully tested and integrated with manned air traffic management systems.

PansaUTM could also soon be integrated with state registers or 112 emergency line. At the same time, PANSA is ready to coordinate drone flights helping law enforcement services, health services, local governments and companies in fighting the epidemic.

The whole project and preparations were supervised by experts from the Polish Civil Aviation Authority and Polish Air Navigation Services and included planning the flight route and analysis of the surrounding terrain. In order to ensure the maximum level of safety, the flight in Warsaw was preceded by test flights in the Central European Drone Demonstrator in the Silesian Metropolis.

PansaUTM is a digitalized concept of coordination UAV flights and digital management of requests and approvals for flights in airspace. It includes proprietary PANSA operational solutions and the system part, supplied by the technology partner Hawk-e, integrated with the DroneRadar application, which is the most popular among drone operators in Poland.

PansaUTM is a unique system that is adapted to be operated by an airspace management entity responsible for the volumes of controlled airspace. The modular architecture of the PansaUTM system allows its full or partial implementation, in accordance with current and future requirements and needs of users, as well as adaptation due to language requirements and changing regulations (e.g. various national laws or common European regulations and U-space U1-U4 services supporting them).

At the same time, the PansaUTM system is compatible with existing regulations on the protection of personal data (e.g. GDPR) and compatible with existing ATM solutions used by civil and military entities managing airspace and manned air traffic.

As part of PANSA, the PansaUTM system is integrated with the PANDORA system for displaying flight information and the CAT system for managing airspace structures in real-time. The PansaUTM system also allows integration with other U-space service providers, e.g. local DTM systems through open APIs.