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Defining Drone Aeronautical Information Management

Drone flying at Schiphol Airport






The Netherlands




The air traffic control of the Netherlands - LVNL - is responsible for the management of the civil airspace and everything that this involves. It includes modernization and management of technological systems, providing aeronautical information and air traffic control training, and providing aeronautical maps and publications. LVNL is also a core member of the initiative Dutch Drone Delta, where they are working on the developments of the unmanned aviation industry.

The challenge

LVNL is currently looking at their role in the unmanned aviation industry. While today’s operations in controlled airspace are limited by capacity and legislation, operations in uncontrolled airspace are beyond the scope of LVNL’s services. However, they might play an important role in uncontrolled airspace as well in terms of information management (in traditional aviation known as AIP) and in the near future with U-space. LVNL asked AirHub and MovingDot to identify the required information that is needed to safely conduct drone operations, how it can be defined as D-AIM, and how this relates to the basic architecture for different types of airspace (uncontrolled, controlled, and U-space).

I see this as a good first step in facilitating safe and efficient drone operations, hopefully, integrated with manned aviation. Information is the foundation for it, and this report indicates the direction needed to make this happen.
Yannick Vos, LVNL


The outcome of this research shows that D-AIM is necessary for safe and efficient unmanned operations. In addition to traditional AIM elements, specific information is needed to be able to safely conduct drone operations, such as population density information and CNS systems. The additional information provided in this assignment as part of the D-AIM is considered independent of the type of airspace where the flight will take place and can be both static or dynamic (real-time).

This means that the definition of Drone AIM should be considered part of the bigger picture, including but not limited to the implementation of U-space. It therefore also raises the question of what role LVNL will play in the U-space ecosystem. This can vary from being the ATM stakeholder (current role), the Common Information Service (CIS) provider, a U-Space Service Provider (USSP), or even all three.

It still needs to be made clear which role LVNL will take. During this project, the different roles and corresponding responsibilities have been addressed to give LVNL insight into the possible roles, and it has also visualized the basic architecture for the different types of airspace. In neighboring European countries, choices are being made or have already been made regarding the role of the ANSP. The Swedish ANSP (LFV) has opted for a Single CIS provider principle, just like in Spain where ENAIRE has opted for a centralized model in which ENAIRE will be certified as the CIS provider.

With the results of this project, LVNL has a better understanding of the required information (flows) and the corresponding roles (for LVNL and other stakeholders).


Because of this collaboration, it’ll be clear what role LVNL will be playing in unmanned aviation. As manned and unmanned aviation will cross each other, it’s important LVNL is ready.