A Unified Airspace Risk Management Framework for UAS Operations

Suraj Bijjahalli, Alessandro Gardi, Nichakorn Pongsakornsathien, Roberto Sabatini, Trevor Kistan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Collision risk modelling has a long history in the aviation industry, with mature models currently utilised for the strategic planning of airspace sectors and air routes. However, the progressive introduction of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and other forms of air mobility poses new challenges, compounded by a growing need to address both offline and online operational requirements. To address the associated gaps in the existing airspace risk assessment models, this article proposes a comprehensive risk management framework, which relies on a novel methodology to model UAS collision risk in all classes of airspace. This methodology inherently accounts for the performance of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) systems, and, as such, it can be applied to both strategic and tactical operational timeframes. Additionally, the proposed approach can be applied inversely to determine CNS performance requirements given a target value of collision probability. This new risk assessment methodology is based on a rigorous analysis of the CNS error characteristics and transformation of the associated models into the spatial domain to generate a protection volume around each predicted air traffic conflict. Additionally, a methodology to quickly and conservatively evaluate the multi-integral formulation of collision probability is introduced. The validity of the proposed framework is tested using representative CNS performance parameters in two simulation case studies targeting, respectively, a terminal manoeuvring area and an enroute scenario.

Original languageBritish English
Article number184
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • aerial robotics
  • Air Traffic Management
  • airspace risk
  • avionics
  • CNS
  • collision risk
  • Communication, Navigation and Surveillance
  • detect and avoid
  • navigation
  • RCP
  • Required Communications Performance
  • Required Navigation Performance
  • Required Surveillance Performance
  • RNP
  • robotics
  • RSP
  • sense and avoid
  • tracking
  • UAS
  • UAS Traffic Management
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • UTM


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