A Finnish Company Aims at UAV-pilot Training

Tampere, Finland --[ASDWire.com]-- Finnish Robonic Arctic Test UAV Flight Centre Ltd (RATUFC), affiliated to UAV launcher designing and manufacturing Robonic Ltd, is launching a study of the potential for development of a UAV pilot training business venture in cooperation with Kemijarvi town in Finnish Lapland. In parallel RATUFC is seeking domestic and international partners for the proposed venture. Robonic managing director (chief executive officer) Juha Moisio says that such a centre would be able to play an active part in a future European UAV-pilot training system. "The new venture would pursue the anticipated global growth in use of UAVs for both military and civil purposes, with this in turn requiring qualified pilots and operators" Moisio says. "The growth of the UAV market is dependent on the safe sharing of airspace by UAVs with other aviation types, meaning the training of UAV pilots to an appropriate skills level must be a primary objective to ensure aviation safety standards are maintained." RATUFC believes that its existing Test Centre at Kemijarvi is well positioned to offer at least basic level UAV flight training service with options for expansion of this to encompass all elements of UAV operations, including operator and payload specialist training. "The venture could become the focal point for a common European UAV training centre that would provide major cost savings to involved nations", Moisio says. Initial advice on the proposed venture has been provided to Finnish aviation, military, and other civil authorities. A common, internationally agreed and approved training system for UAV pilots does not exist in Europe or elsewhere in the world. "This absence is however being addressed as a matter of priority by a variety of international regulatory forums as well as national aviation safety authorities. It is anticipated that in the near term existing aviation rules laid down by the EU and ICAO will expand to cover also the world of the unmanned aerial vehicles", says Moisio. "That emerging regulatory environment will demand the development of a comprehensive approach to UAV pilot training, raising a near term opportunity that is not currently being offered within either the European or international aviation environments. "There is the potential for the proposed new venture to become a common European facility, reducing the requirement for national specific UAV training capabilities for both military and civil users. There are strong precedents for this approach in the exploration by European air forces for the establishment of common manned aircraft training centres, with this also including the outsourcing of services to training-focused private companies." RATUFC believes that the demand for training will strongly increase as the use of UAVs in civil applications grows. RATUFC was established earlier this year with its launch customer, Sagem DS, commencing flight operations at the Kemijarvi facility in June. More info: Robonic Arctic Test UAV Flight Centre (RATUFC) Ltd Oy is a Kemijarvi, Finland based company that provides UAV flying facilities at its range in north eastern Lapland. RATUFC test range has some 11.000 square kilometres of air space at its disposal (this is approximately half od Belgiums airspace and more then that of Slovenia's). The range airfield has a 1400x23 metre airstrip. In an ongoing process in close cooperation with Kemijarvi town RATUFC is studying the future use of the range for various applications. These include amongst others UAV flight training. RATUFC provides for a turn-key operation to its customers by negotiating all domestic clearances with Finnish authorities, logistics and provides for a test platform for UAV systems providers. RATUFC is a sister company of Robonic Ltd of Tampere, Finland and operates from the Kemijarvi airfield, some 70 kilometres east of Rovaniemi, above the Arctic Circle. Robonic Ltd Oy, based in Tampere, Finland, is an independent engineering company with a twenty year track record of pneumatic UAV launching technology. Robonic Ltd produces pneumatic launchers for UAV's that see service amongst others with the Finnish Defence Forces and EADS GmbH and previously with the Dutch Defence Forces. Robonic is the choice launcher provider for several European systems integrators and air vehicle providers. Robonic provides a complete product range for UAVs with launch weights from 15kg to 500kg, and up with the maximum launching power of 8,500kW. Robonic launcher systems see use both with propeller and jet engine high-performance target UAVs as well as tactical UAV's. Modular designs cover all the main applications, including trailer- and truck- mounted, semi-mobile and fully stationary concepts. For further information please contact: Juha Moisio juha.moisio@robonic.fi +358-40-751 6363

Source: Robonic
Date: Nov 27, 2006

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