Unmanned aviation to be developed in Tartu
Tartu City Government Press Release
15 May / The Estonian Transport Administration has decided to establish a testing area for unmanned aviation (drones) in Tartu, which is home to the research institutions and infrastructure necessary for aviation innovation.
Based on its geographical location, the Estonian Aviation Academy and strong economic base, Tartu is well-suited for testing drones, and the national decision to build a test facility in Tartu will also help the city to bring to life its long-term development goals. Tartu has been selected as one of the European Commission’s 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030. The development of climate-neutral aviation will help contribute to this goal. In order to realise this vision, the City of Tartu, the Tartu Science Park, and the Union of Tartu County Municipalities also created the non-profit association ZeroEst, to serve as an advocate for the development of droning in the region.
Kaili Ojamets, Head of the Department of Business Development of the Tartu City Government and Chairman of the Management Board of ZeroEst, said that drones have a very important role to play in shaping our future. ‘Our goal is to introduce the prospects for future development of drone technologies and opportunities to serve society. Tartu’s ambition is quite clear: we are looking for investments and drone developers for Tartu, who can test their technologies here, develop them securely, provide services locally, and then grow successfully into the wider world,’ Ojamets said.
Ojamets singled out the provision of critical and vital services, be it first aid and medical services, monitoring critical infrastructure, or access to hard-to-reach areas as potential uses for drones. ‘In the future, there could be drone nests in Tartu, where autonomous drones have the capability to serve public authorities in providing services,’ Ojamets added.
According to the Transport Administration, the establishment of a test facility in Tartu will create opportunities for broad-based development and deployment of unmanned aviation technologies. This creates the prerequisites for the development of innovative aviation concepts and safety standards and helps facilitate safe testing of automated aviation systems.
In the long term, the aim is to create an innovation environment for unmanned aviation, one that brings together all of the key stakeholders, including airspace users, industrial companies and research institutions. This approach provides an opportunity to create a sustainable development environment for current and future technologies related to the deployment of unmanned aircraft systems and related solutions.
The concept of a test area for automated aviation systems is being developed by the international company ANRA Technologies. The project will be led by the Transport Administration and the Enterprise and Innovation Foundation, and the project ‘U-space sandbox’ will be implemented from the European Regional Development Fund 2014–2020
Last changed 15.05.2023