The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently released Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) – A Common Framework with Core Principles for Global Harmonization

The purpose of this document is to outline the essential components and capabilities of a typical Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system, to assist States considering its implementation. A UTM system should be able to work alongside the existing Air Traffic Management (ATM) system in the short term, and ultimately integrate with it in the long term. The introduction and management of unmanned traffic, as well as the development of UTM infrastructure, should not compromise the safety or efficiency of the existing ATM system. A standardized framework is necessary to harmonize UTM systems globally and facilitate a gradual integration into the ATM system. This will allow the industry, including manufacturers, service providers, and end-users, to grow in a safe and efficient manner without disrupting the established manned aviation system.

UTM Common Framework Benefits

Specifically, this document may be used by States to develop a UTM system that provides the following benefits:
• continued safety of all air traffic, manned and unmanned;
• safety of persons on the ground;
• complex low-level UA operations;
• ongoing support of technological advancements;
• evaluation of security and environmental risks; and
• provision for a global, harmonized framework for low-level UTM.

This framework is not intended to propose or endorse any specific UTM system design or technical solutions to address the UTM challenge; instead, its aim is to provide an overarching framework for such a system. Accordingly, the following sections propose a standard set of guiding principles and enabling actions.

About ICAO 

ICAO is funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).

Its core function is to maintain an administrative and expert Secretariat of international civil servants supporting these diplomatic interactions, and to research new air transport policy and standardization innovations as directed and endorsed by governments through the ICAO Assembly, or by the ICAO Council which the assembly elects.

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Post Image- ICAO Booth at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2023 in Denver, Colorado (Image Credit: C-UAS Hub)

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