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13 March 2023
SAFIR-Med wins in SESAR Digital European Sky Awards 2023
awards2023 safirmed.jpg

There could be no better closure for the SAFIR-Med project than receiving the SESAR Digital Sky Award for the Very Lrge Demonstration category, in the Airspace World 2023, which this year attracted more than 10,000 ATM industry professionals and hosted more than 200 exhibitors and 60 speakers. The winners of the awards were announced in this annual gathering of the global ATM industry, in a ceremony that took place on March 9th, in Geneva, Switzerland. The winning projects were recognised for demonstrating excellence in technological innovation, their potential to have a positive long-term impact on ATM performance, as well as their overall contribution to the SESAR programme. 

After 2 years of hard collective work on safe, sustainable, and socially acceptable medical drone deliveries, this award granted by SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is testimony that our vision and work during the project for socially beneficial urban air mobility is contributing to the EU healthcare system and is important for the upcoming development. SAFIR-Med was recognised for its successful demonstration of emergency medical service delivery by drones. The project carried out a series of demos in the cities of Maastricht, Aachen, Hasselt, Heerlen and Liège showing how drones can be used to support Europe’s healthcare system. Mikael Shamim, CEO of Helicus and coordinator of SAFIR-Med, pitched the project together with the other shortlisted candidates and received the award.  

During the SAFIR-Med project lifetime, some very important milestones were achieved. Namely, on June 17th, 2022, the first Operational Authorisation to operate true Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights in a European populated (urban) environment was granted to the SAFIR-Med project. On the 21st of June 2022, the SAFIR-Med project performed in Antwerp, the first ever SORA-compliant BVLOS transportation flight over a populated area, under the new EASA UAS regulations. A few months later, on October 26th, 2022, the 1st BVLOS demonstration flight in the MAHHL region was conducted. It was executed from the Dutch border to the UKA University Hospital in Aachen, Germany, and the challenging country border area provided very interesting project learnings. Last but not least, some fast-time simulations were conducted by AgentFly Technologies in the cities where demonstrations took place during the SAFIR-Med project.  

A distinguished panel of aviation representatives evaluated some thirty contributions to make a shortlist of the nine most exemplary projects in three categories: exploratory research, industrial research and very large-scale demonstrations. In the other categories the winners of the awards are: ISOBAR has won the exploratory research award, for developing ingenious AI weather mapping predictions to reduce weather-related air traffic delays. PJ18 4DSkyways has won the industrial research award. 4DSkyways delivered solutions to optimise aircraft trajectories of aircraft, making European aviation smarter and more sustainable. Finally, Albatross won the People Choice Award for successfully trialing energy-efficient flights using a combination of SESAR3JU technologies. 

The SAFIR-Med project partners skeyes, SkeyDrone,AgentFly and Ehang participated at the Airspace World on the 8-10 March 2023 in Geneva and joined the SAFIR-Med coordinator in celebrating the win of the award.  

Read the analytical agenda of all the presentations here: 

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