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Kommersant

The Ministry of Transport may allow autonomous vehicles and drones to operate in common airspace

November 16, 2020|
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The Ministry of Transport ordered to develop a system that will allow drones to fly alongside civil aircraft. The project includes the creation of “the concept of the information support system for unmanned aircraft flights in the Russian Federation based on GLONASS technologies and multilateration (multiposition surveillance systems)”, Kommersant writes. The project will be executed by FSBI “Zashchitainfotrans of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation”.

The drones are expected to be equipped with transponders, which will make them visible to the monitoring system.

The Ministry of Transport explains that under the air legislation, UAV flights together with manned aircraft are prohibited: “These restrictions stem from the lack of technology, infrastructure and on-board equipment to ensure the safety of joint flights, which limits the development of the unmanned aviation industry”.

However, the data transmission standard chosen by the Ministry of Transport is quite controversial: the industry  representatives believe that such a system will work only near airfields and will not allow drones to be seen anywhere in Russia. For the complete coverage of the country’s territory by the receivers, it will be necessary to deploy the system also in an “open field”, which may result in high costs, Oleg Panteleev, a representative of the Aviaport agency, says.

According to the Federal Air Transport Agency, at the beginning of March, 16.8 thousand UAVs with a maximum take-off weight of up to 30 kg were registered. In the medium term, more than 2 million such aircraft are expected in Russia, and by 2035  there will be up to 100 thousand vehicles in the air simultaneously.

Original (in Russian)

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