Who is SUSI? “It is all about boosting new technologies”
“We are living in a privileged time and have the opportunity to write a page of history in the revolution of mobility. Any revolution brings challenges and opportunities.”
Francine Zimmermann, Head of Policy and Regulation – Swiss FOCA
SUSI is a Public-Private Partnership launched in December 2018 with the overarching goal to integrate drones into the airspace in a safe and secure way, enforcing collaboration, pushing progress, quality and innovation.
Why did we start?
The increasing number of drones in the airspace is expected to dramatically transform air traffic: There are more and more commercial uses of drones, such as package delivery, environmental monitoring, mapping, disaster relief and traffic management. Furthermore, drone technology has become smaller and more affordable for civil use, and many people have now begun flying drones recreationally.
Against this background, the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) established a U-Space Program to develop a regulatory framework for a national U-Space in Switzerland. There is a range of best practices informing this regulatory process: internationally recognized standards, firm business models and best operational and technological actions are three central layers of it.
However, as one can imagine, with the increase of drones in the airspace, U-Space operational scenarios, services, technologies and capabilities are getting increasingly complex. For example, recent studies estimate that there will be demand for over 170,000 package-delivery drone flights per hour in Paris by the year 2035, with some urban areas projected to see a 200-fold increase in the number of UAS-flights. These numbers are stunning – but also challenging, especially when it comes to the deployment of the mature technologies with considerations to safety and security aspects.
And this is why SUSI was created.
SUSI – Stands for “Swiss U-Space Implementation”, a Public-Private Partnership launched in December 2018 between FOCA, the Swiss Air Navigation Provider skyguide and a varied range of market players from the industry. These players include U-Space Service Providers, Supplemental Data Providers, Technology Providers and Drone, Ground Control Station or Flight control manufactures. Indeed, the list of SUSI-members might seem to be manifold, but not an overarching vision that embraces this diversity of these stakeholders.