CEO of R-SYS in a panel discussion at the Dronecon conference in Prague

On 4.4.2024, the 1st edition of the Dronecon, a professional drone forum was held at the CIIRC ČVÚT in Prague. Approximately 150 visitors of the event, which was organized by the Euro weekly, had the opportunity to watch and listen to panel discussions of experts on current topics related to unmanned aviation, especially in the Czech Republic. Marek Náhlik – CEO of R-SYS, whose parent company ERA was also a partner of the event, was invited to participate in a panel on drone safety.

Advanced drone services

After the arrival and registration of the participants, the event was opened by Ondřej Kubala from the Euro weekly and the opening speech was given by the Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic Martin Kupek and the Rector of the CTU Vojtěch Petráček. This was followed by the first panel discussion dedicated to the topic of advanced drone services and urban air mobility. Representatives of the Czech Air Transport Authority, Prague Airport, the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic and the Czech Chamber of Commerce discussed the need to define a strategy for the development of the drone ecosystem and the possibilities of the current infrastructure for drone services and the need to build a polygon for testing of the U-space implamentation procedure in the conditions of the Czech Republic.

Development of the drone economy

The second panel focused on investment opportunities associated with drone technologies and the impact of regulations on the development of the drone economy. The discussants (Dronetag, Railway Administration, UAVA CZ, Telink) raised the topics of the drone ecosystem in the context of legislative requirements, market opportunities and technological innovations. They agreed on the need for European and national regulations guaranteeing airspace safety, standardization of processes and communication between U-Space participants, which should not hinder the development of business opportunities at the same time.

Security challenges

After lunch and networking, the programme continued with a discourse on the security challenges that drones currently bring. Marek Náhlik (R-SYS) together with Ladislav Semetkovsky (Primoco), Ales Trtil (LAA), Brigadier General Roman Hytch (Czech Armed Forces) and Vladimir Šafařík (Rohde & Schwarz) discussed drone detection and elimination systems, the use of unmanned technologies in various interventions, and drones as part of the national security strategy. From the position of the director of R-SYS, a company dedicated to the development and implementation of systems for the management of unmanned operations, Marek Náhlik pointed out the need for safe management of drones in the airspace and its harmonization with the existing infrastructure of manned operations.

U-Space and development

The coffee break was followed by a final discussion focusing on the future of the drone ecosystem in the context of U-Space deployment in the Czech Republic, and the panelists also presented research projects and technologies being developed in the Czech Republic. Representatives from Honeywell Aerospace, CSG Aerospace, VZLU and AgentFly spoke about the development of unique aircraft and technologies in the Czech Republic, the role of research in the development of regulations and the specifics of U-Space in the Czech Republic.

The Dronecon event was met with positive reactions from both speakers and audience, and confirmed that expert discussions, forums and conferences are essential for the progress in the use of unmanned technologies and the societal acceptance of the coming advanced services.