by Christopher Korody
first appeared in Dronin’ On June 26, 2019

Hi all –

Nice to hear from so many of you about the June 6th issue – no, I am not “back” but I am having fun. As those of you who read the “The RID riddle” issue know, this issue is dedicated to the GUTMA Connected Skies Forum, #connectedskies, which Intel hosted at their Jones Farm Conference Center in Hillsboro, OR.

There’s a complete backgrounder in the Connected Skies Forum Preview – but in the simplest terms: GUTMA is the Global UTM Association, a non-profit consortium of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) stakeholders.

Its purpose is to foster the safe, secure and efficient integration of drones in national airspace systems. Its mission is to support and accelerate the transparent implementation of globally interoperable UTM systems.

GUTMA has 70 members and partners from 27 countries.

The CONNECTED SKIES Forum explored the idea that as the airspace becomes both more saturated and more valuable, the only scalable solution for managing air traffic of all kinds will be software-defined, connected, and distributed interoperable systems.

Some 200 professionals representing 122 organizations from 25 different countries registered to make the trek to Portland to discuss what to do and how to get it done. Among them, were ten air navigation service providers (ANSPs), six regulatory bodies (including ICAO) and nine mobile network operators (MNOs). There was one official delegate from the FAA.


Slide from Jonathan Evan’s opening remarks

I am going to begin at the end and say that of all of the drone conferences that I have been to, GUTMA’s Connected Skies is the first one that was specifically designed to move the ball forward. Here are a few of the things that contribute to my optimism.

There were very few mentions of the Gartner Hype Curve, and a refreshing absence of hype. No one is talking about #dronesRgood. Or Counter UAS. Instead, these people are working to define a world in which Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) of all shapes and sizes are an integral part of what I am going to dub the GAS – the Global Airspace System (you heard it here first.) Please allow me to hyperbolize. No national airspace (NAS) is big enough for what’s coming.

Continue reading here…