Spain joins US, UK, France on International UAV consortium

By Emily Aasand | July 31, 2014


CATUAV Tech Center (CTC) and Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced Systems (ATLAS) have been added as the fifth and sixth members of The International Consortium of Aeronautical Test Sites (ICATS), which will add Spain to the list of countries (U.S.A., U.K., and France) involved in the partnership.

“Joining ICATS will open possibilities of collaboration between ATLAS and the rest of the members, such as R&D on experimental UAV projects in different countries,” said Silvia de los Santos, Head of R&D and Innovation Management Area, Fundación Andaluza para el Desarrollo Aeroespacial (FADA-CATEC). “Technical and operational joint works are expected. Our membership will allow us to become part of the cutting edge in UAV research activities all over the world.”

According to Dr. Stephen McKeever, the Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology, ICATS represents the first collaboration between nations to share data on unmanned aerial systems.

“We think this is a great step forward for the UAS community, and we hope it is a vehicle by which we will be able to unify regulations across international boundaries.”

The mission of the individual test sites is to develop international centers of expertise focused on the development applications and operations of UAS/Remotely piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

“By joining forces, the consortium test centers aim at support and guide the industry in the development, operations and certification of UAS/RPAS as established by their respective regulation bodies,” said the report. “ICATS will also focus on cross-boarders normalization of training and licensing, as well as airspace management and regulations.”

The test sites intend to engage with private, academic and public sector partners as well as experts to develop new business opportunities.  The new sites will also create jobs, promote investment, develop and commercialize advanced technologies and expanding existing services throughout the world.

According to the report, “The consortium will support the industry by enabling the development, testing and ultimate certification of UAS/RPAS to allow for their use in non-segregated airspace. The test centers will help continue to bridge the gap between the establishment of regulations and actual operations.”