Israel’s National Drone Initiative

“Israel’s National Drone Initiative, which began its flights over urban areas in January 2021, launched on Sunday, December 19th, the fourth phase of its pilot program, involving five companies that manage and operate autonomous drone networks awarded by the Israel Innovation Authority’s grant via its Pilots Program as well as other companies and organizations with a drone fleet who are interested in taking part in the world’s leading civilian drone delivery pilot. 

Dror Bin, CEO, Israel Innovation Authority: “In the framework of the fourth phase of this pilot program, the drone initiative is taking one step forward with additional missions and challenges and expanding the operational envelope and the potential civilian uses of drone technology. This is another significant milestone, in which all the partners in both public and private sectors are establishing an innovative model for drone manufacturers and operators, as well as the Israeli public. This kind of cooperation is a catalyst for additional entities, such as rescue services and local authorities, as well as other commercial entities, to undertake and to experience the capabilities and potential that is latent within and demonstrated by this trial.” 

(c) IIA

Starting Sunday, December 19th, for a duration of two weeks, flights will take place day and night above Gush Dan and Yeruham, in order to integrate the use of drones in routine activities such as transportation of basic products, first aid; deploying a drone attached to a vehicle for real-time monitoring of traffic movement with AI-based elements that can provide forecasts, and much more. 

The State of Israel is apparently the most advanced state in the world when it comes to practically examining the anticipated architecture of control in unmanned airspace (U-Space) – which is being examined considering the new European regulations published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Eyal Bilia, Ayalon Highways Acting Vice President of Technology and Innovation: “The National Drone Initiative of the Ministry of Transport, Ayalon Highways, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Smart Mobility Initiative and the Israel Innovation Authority is part of a project to deal with traffic congestion on the roads. First, by proving the ability of the drones’ operational system to monitor events and to analyse traffic congestion from Ayalon Highways’ Gush Dan Metropolitan Traffic Management Center at Savidor. And second, by proving its ability to assist in the delivery of small goods in city centers through paving virtual lanes for drones. Research has found that 20 percent of the congestion problems in city centers stem from the movement of small goods. Therefore, the deployment of drones can assist in two ways – through monitoring and analysis and the operational aspect of creating new transportation lanes that will ease the existing congestion while building regulation that will support their ongoing operation in general areas of urban transportation.”

The CAA is adjusting these large pilot testings in accordance with the future legislative outline, and in so doing is preparing and “ripening” the Israeli market – both so that Israel will be ready for urban drone deliveries, and that drone companies will be able to move forward in the international market, without compromising on the requirements for safe operation for the public and the manned aviation field.

Joel Feldschuh, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority: “The Civil Aviation Authority is an active partner in the National Drone Initiative and through risk management process enables looking into future models of operating commercial drones backed by relevant regulations. The 4th phase of this pilot takes another step in examining future control architecture in the domain of urban deliveries via drones.

Israel’s National Drone Initiative, which originates in a partnership between the Israel Innovation Authority, the Ministry of Transport (through Ayalon Highways), the Civil Aviation Authority, and the Smart Transportation Administration, was established with the goal of advancing the deployment of drones for the public benefit, in order to assist in reducing congestion on the roads and to establish a national network of airways that are managed for the purposes of transporting medicines, vaccines, tests and medical equipment, retail market shipments, and more. (…)”

Sources/Send: IAA. Selceted, adjusted and shortend by VonNaftali