Aviation, including Urban Air Mobility and Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) is a major user of space-based services, with the potential to expand existing services and to introduce many new ones. Satellite services are widely used for Air Traffic Management, Airline Operational Communications and passenger in-flight connectivity, in addition to services for airport management and meteorology – contributing largely to safety and efficiency of the sector.
One second fast emerging area which is revolutionising transport is Urban Air Mobility: the system that enables on-demand, highly automated, passenger or cargo-carrying air transportation services within and around the city environment usually in a low altitude airspace. Currently, the most mature UAM applications involve drones utilization for short-range surveillance or package delivery. In this respect, UAM will be considered as a system for air passenger and cargo transportation within the city and at the fringe, with vehicles ranging from small drones to passenger aircrafts. Still, the development of RPAS faces unique challenges, such as flight in unsegregated airspace, and their progressive solution is opening up new markets.
Aviation and Urban Air Mobility are setting new goals towards CO2 neutral mobility which will change the way people travel today. ESA enables technologies that allow pilots and controllers to identify the shortest and fastest routes, saving fuels and reducing environmental impact.