McElhanney Joins AIRmarket’s Alberta RPAS Traffic Management Trials

McElhanney has partnered with Transport Canada and airspace management solutions provider, AIRmarket, to run a series of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) traffic management trials in Alberta. These trials, known as the Alberta RTM Trials, aim to establish air traffic control infrastructure and technologies to unlock Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) RPAS flight opportunities.

Through this partnership, McElhanney is part of an alliance of over 30 regulatory associations, local governments, academic institutions, airports, end users, service providers, and technology suppliers. This alliance, which AIRmarket calls the iART Alliance, is actively working to refine the execution plans that will make commercial BVLOS flights a reality. And the clock is ticking; regulations are slated to change in April of 2025 and will expand commercial BVLOS opportunities.

“Right now, any commercial BVLOS RPAS flight is a single flight that requires a special certification,” says McElhanney RPAS Program Coordinator, Stefan Kischkel. “But come April 2025, regulations will allow BVLOS flights without these limitations.”

The iART Alliance is working to make sure Canadian technology and infrastructure are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that are expected to open up through scheduled regulatory changes in April 2025. Today’s drones are limited by short flight plans and have no ability to efficiently coordinate, or “deconflict”, with other airspace traffic; these limitations need to be remedied to fully leverage the April 2025 regulatory update. Technology advancements are underway, and the iART Alliance is positioned to gain regulatory approval for a BVLOS RPAS Traffic Management system. The University of Alberta, Carleton University, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology will validate the authority of the Alliance’s work by providing quantitative analysis of their recommendations.

McElhanney is proud to be part of the AIRmarket Alberta RTM Trials and is eager to bring these advances to clients across Western Canada. “With commercial BVLOS flights, we’ll be able to improve costs, cover more ground, and deliver continuous data sets over larger areas than ever before,” says Kischkel. “These advances will create efficiencies for clients across the transportation, energy, and resources sectors.”

To learn more about AIRmarket’s Alberta RTM Trials, visit their website.

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