Current and Expected Airspace Regulations for Airborne Wind Energy Systems


Safety is a major factor in the permitting process for airborne wind energy systems. To successfully commercialize the technologies, safety and reliability have to be ensured by the design methodology and have to meet accepted standards. Current prototypes operate with special temporary permits, usually issued by local aviation authorities and based on ad-hoc assessments of safety. Neither at national nor at international level there is yet a common view on regulation. In this chapter, we investigate the role of airborne wind energy systems in the airspace and possible aviation-related risks. Within this scope, current operation permit details for several prototypes are presented. Even though these prototypes operate with local permits, the commercial end-products are expected to fully comply with international airspace regulations. We share the insights obtained by Ampyx Power as one of the early movers in this area. Current and expected international airspace regulations are reviewed that can be used to find a starting point to evidence the safety of airborne wind energy systems. In our view, certification is not an unnecessary burden but provides both a prudent and a necessary approach to large-scale commercial deployment near populated areas.

Airborne Wind Energy – Advances in Technology Development and Research