Benidorm selected by U-ELCOME project to test drone safety

ENAIRE, EUROCONTROL and the town council of Benidorm announced last week at the Spanish city, the U-ELCOME project, which will establish the guidelines to achieve safe navigation throughout the continent.

U-ELCOME DSD project is configured as a space for drones to receive services and information “with the aim of avoiding conflicts and collisions and flying safely”, explained Norberto Vera, a representative of Eurocontrol, the European organisation for air navigation safety. “The goal is to define the roles and responsibilities of the U-space users so that it is secure, that it allows privacy and that it favours the continuous growth of this industry. Benidorm, in fact, due to its characteristics, has become an urban laboratory in which the guidelines are applied and analysed to guarantee safety in drone navigation in the future, or for the definition of national airspace in this matter”, Vera said.

On the other hand, Professor Israel Quintanilla from UPV said that Benidorm was chosen “because it has multiple scenarios, a great environment such as its skyline, a natural park, an island and the urban sprawl which generates a model scalable to other cities and environments. Benidorm is a town open to changes in new technologies, with previous experience of projects with drones, and the fact that it is a very socially accepted technology”, Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla explained some of the contributions that Benidorm must make. These include a coordination centre for the U-ELCOME project, which will be located at the old police checkpoint, a heliport “that can be used as a vertiport” and the digitalisation of the town with urban planning and population densities analyses.

Finally, the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez. concluded that “our city is delighted that it has been taken into account for these innovation projects”.

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