The GUTMA 2.0 Mission Statement
“GUTMA represents organizations involved in innovative drone services and smart mobility solutions enabled by services that keep drone operations at all altitudes safe and efficient. It engages in impactful research and development and in technical, regulatory and political processes to foster a global ecosystem in a fair global drone services market.”
New technologies offer new opportunities. GUTMA – the Global Uncrewed Traffic Management Association – expects a massive drone ecosystem to emerge. More and more companies are expected to integrate drones and drone services into their value chains. Farmers can monitor crop growth, construction companies can monitor site progress, and logistics companies can use drones for last mile deliveries.
This drone ecosystem will only thrive if drones can fly automatically over longer distances. And it is important to appreciate that UTM is a critical enabler for the safe and efficient operation of these drones at scale.
GUTMA is the global association open to both private and public organizations, including regulators, that are involved in UTM and drone activities. GUTMA expects that this ecosystem of companies in the global drone services market will add real value to society and global economies. Companies thrive best if they can choose their drone operators and UTM providers. GUTMA supports a federated system for UTM services and fair UTM and drone services markets.
GUTMA will identify the processes that contribute to its objectives and will cooperate in impactful research and development, technical, regulatory and political processes in a constructive and authoritative way. After all, GUTMA is the most representative and effective association for the global drone services industry.
The basis for safe drone activities remains a digital and automated traffic management system. Digitalization will automate the traffic management and piloting functions. Automation will drive costs down and lower costs will boost the integration of drone services in the value chain of many industries. GUTMA promotes cost effective drone and UTM services in fair and competitive markets.
UTM services will enable drone operations at all altitudes, from very low to very high. More advanced UTM services will be required in certain areas. For example urban air mobility that enables the most efficient movement of passengers and cargo in smart cities or regions. Around smart cities, the borders between airspace and city management will overlap as aviation and terrestrial mobility become more connected. Mobility is offered as a single service, and the UTM system will gradually expand to manage more aircraft types at different altitudes.
From GUTMA to GUTMA 2.0
In 2016, drones – at least commercial drone operations – were considered as a far fetched future. “Unmanned” Traffic Management was a NASA led research concept that still had to prove its technical feasibility. The US FAA was considering a drone rule on small drones. In Europe, the first drone rules were under preparation. Japan built on its drone expertise in agriculture to extend drone operations to other applications. From Singapore to Australia, the first wave of drone projects delivered expertise in longer distance operations.
In 2021, five years of intense work and public & private investment changed the setting completely. The views on technological feasibility, standards development, rulemaking and market conditions have completely altered. Time to update the views of the GUTMA founding fathers to this new context – time for GUTMA 2.0 to come up with a clear vision for the next five years.
The term “UTM” also has been subject to intense discussion. It evolved from the NASA coined “Unmanned Traffic Management” concept to suggestions such as “Unified” or “Universal” Traffic Management. The FAA has moved to “Uncrewed” as a gender neutral term – which GUTMA fully endorses. In any case, the need to go beyond uncrewed and use an ‘open’ term is exactly why the Commission labelled its UTM initiative as “U-Space” from November 2016. The term “U-Space” indicates that the scope of the system will go beyond uncrewed air traffic and will, eventually, also manage “passenger” air traffic, like air taxis, and converge with the current air traffic management system.