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D2.1 Current State-of-the-Art and regulatory basis

The RPAS integration in TMA operations is a quite wide and complex topic, that in part has already been explored in other projects and initiatives. The present state-of-the-art intends to set the scene and the boundaries of the project, highlighting all the previous research that constitutes the foundation of the present work, in order to avoid duplications and produce new and innovative results in the framework of RPAS integration in civil non-segregated airspace pertaining to TMA and airport.   

The state-of-the-art research here provided focuses on three main aspects of RPAS integration, namely: technologies, human aspects and applicable rules and standards.

It also includes information about other past and present activities carried out in Europe, and more specifically within the SESAR framework, that can be considered relevant for the project since related to the project, either directly or indirectly. 

This state-of-the-art is the first public deliverable produced and made available by the INVIRCAT project.  

Published on this website in February 2021

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D2.2 Use Cases Definition and Concept Outline

Based on the state-of-the-art research document D2.1, this deliverable describes the use cases and outlines the INVIRCAT concept for the integration of RPAS into the existing ATC procedures and infrastructures within TMAs and at airports under Instrument Flight Rules.

While the use cases address nominal (RPAS under IFR) and non-nominal (system failure) situations, in the concept outline a specific focus is laid on different technical implementations of Command and Control (C2) Link as well as Communication Link architectures and their implications on the use cases due to signal delay/ latency.

The elaboration of such an outline concept and the use cases for the relevant flight phases is an initial step towards one of the main goals of the INVIRCAT project: the creation of a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for RPAS in the TMA and on airports.

This document is the second public deliverable produced and made available by the INVIRCAT project.

Published on this website in June 2021


D2.3 Initial CONOPS for the integration of RPAS in the TMA

The initial Concept of Operations for RPAS in the TMA gives a comprehensive overview of the systems and operations needed to support the integration of RPAS into existing Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures on and around airports. The concept focuses on fixed-wing RPAS of the traffic class VI, which are capable of flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and more specifically Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) and Standard Arrival Routes (STARs) in airspace classes A-C. The goal of the CONOPS is to provide a guideline for the integration of fixed-wing RPAS of varying sizes and performances in medium to complex TMAs and airports, envisioning the potential use of RPAS for a widespread array of civil and military applications. Therefore, the document aims to define a concept of operations that is applicable to multiple RPAS operating simultaneously in a shared environment with manned aviation. In order to minimize the risk associated with remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) in the TMA, the CONOPS introduces the use of automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) systems including the inherent system and operational requirements.

The CONOPS is based on the investigations of the state-of-the-art and the developed use cases and concept outline that have been published in deliverables D2.1 and D2.2.

After validation through Real-Time Simulations (RTS) and an assessment of the CONOPS through the project’s Advisory Board, this deliverable will be the base for D2.4 Final CONOPS “RPAS in the TMA”.

The initial CONOPS is the third public deliverable produced and made available by the INVIRCAT project.

Published on this website in July 2021


D2.5 INVIRCAT Preliminary Requirements Definition

This document includes the preliminary operational and functional requirements applicable to the INVIRCAT reference architecture for the integration of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) into the existing Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures and infrastructures within Terminal Manoeuvring Areas (TMA) and at airports under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).


The requirements derived in this document are of two types: operational, which are those that specify the operation and procedures of RPAS in every flight phase in the TMA and airport environments, and functional, which are those that specify what the systems (RPAS, remote pilot, Air Traffic Controllers, etc.) have to do to conduct the operation and meet the procedures defined. The operation is addressed in the INVIRCAT Concept of Operations and Use Cases have been defined to validate the concept.
Deriving requirements is important in INVIRCAT, because they will serve to define the reference architecture to be validated according to the concept and use cases defined.

This document sets the basis for stating what is initially required to comply with the objective of the INVIRCAT CONOPS and, after the simulations are completed and the results assessed, to update these requirements in order to have a final and complete set of valid requirements for the integration of IFR RPAS into the existing ATC procedures and infrastructures within TMA and at airports.

Published on this website in February 2022


D3.4 INVIRCAT Exploratory Research Validation Report

The initial concept of operations and the preliminary set of requirements have been assessed by a series of validation exercises, based on the use cases and validation scenarios from D2.2 and D3.3, respectively.


The validation context of the INVIRCAT project is summarized based on previous documents, and the validation results of the campaigns are presented as a combined result of the various exercises.

The previously defined validation objectives are assessed qualitatively and quantitatively, and the results are also summarized per identified key performance area in the project’s scope.

Finally, the expected quality and limitations of the results is discussed. Appendices give more detailed insight into the separate simulation campaigns.

Published on this website in May 2022


D4.1 INVIRCAT Strategies on IFR RPAS Operations in the TMA: Alternatives, Requirements and Effects

This document summarises the key findings on alternatives and effects linked to IFR RPAS integration into the TMA in the course of the INVIRCAT project in the thematic topics of C2 link, communication link, ATOL systems, and taxi systems.

Key assumptions of the INVIRCAT project required for the understanding of this work are repeated, and the envisaged timeframe is defined. Afterwards, each of the thematic topics is described by its alternative architectures and/or approaches, and is supplemented with a concise list of advantages, disadvantages, and gaps.

Further, an implementation recommendation is presented, based on timeframes from the SESAR Joint Undertaking ATM European Master Plan.

The concluding chapter summarizes key findings and statements.

Published on this website in May 2022