Raytheon, AirMap collaborate on safe NAS drone integration 

Raytheon has signed a strategic agreement with drone platform provider AirMap to collaborate on future projects to safely integrate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the US airspace system and unlock the positive economic and social benefits of expanded commercial drone operations.

“AirMap is ushering in a new era in drone aviation,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon’s information services business. “Drones must safely operate in an already complex ecosystem, which is where our experience matters.”

The agreement combines the two companies’ expertise:

  • Raytheon’s Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS, is used by air traffic controllers across the US to provide safe and efficient aircraft spacing and sequencing guidance for more than 40,000 departing and arriving aircraft daily at both civilian and military airports.
  • AirMap is a provider of airspace intelligence for UAS operations, with over 250,000 registered users. In 2018, the majority of US registered commercial drone pilots used AirMap to request over 45,000 automated authorisations to fly in controlled airspace.

“Raytheon technology has helped safely and effectively manage airspace in the most complex, dense controlled airspace in the world for decades,” said Ben Marcus, AirMap co-founder and chairman. “They are an ideal partner to join AirMap on the path toward enabling safe, efficient, and scalable drone operations in US low-altitude airspace between 0 and 400 feet.”

The two companies are working toward an integrated demonstration that will showcase how AirMap’s unmanned aircraft traffic management platform can increase air traffic controllers’ awareness of potential conflict between drones and manned aircraft near airports to ensure overall safety of the airspace.