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First drone test flights in the Port of Hamburg

First drone test flights in the Port of Hamburg

German firm simulates drone activity to test air space safety

In a bid to research safety issues, a German firm in the northern city of Hamburg is studying drones and simulating how they intersect with other air traffic.

DRONIQ, which is part-owned by state-run air traffic control (DFS) and Deutsche Telekom, on Tuesday was set to start testing flights at its U-Space test site in Hamburg's harbour area.

The U-Space is a delineated air space dedicated to testing drone traffic according to special rules and procedures.

The aim is to help develop procedures that will allow drone flights to take place quickly, safely and without lengthy prior approval, DRONIQ said in a statement.

"Among other things, the safe and coordinated interaction of manned and unmanned air traffic in the U-Space air space set up in Hamburg is simulated."

The test flights include an emergency scenario in which a drone pilot has to avoid a helicopter flying into the test field at short notice.

"Other scenarios are testing several parallel drone flights, including registration and deregistration procedures, as well as route planning and the subsequent flight implementation," according to DRONIQ.

"In order to fully utilize the economic potential of drones, they have to be easily and safely integrated into existing air traffic," says DRONIQ head Jan-Eric Putze. "The test flights mark the next step towards achieving that."

The testing programme is partially subsidized by the Transport Ministry.

Source: DPA

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