Published September 23, 2023 | Version 2.0
Report Open

Safe Operation and Airspace Integration of Airborne Wind Energy Systems

  • 1. Airborne Wind Europe
  • 2. TwingTec


This White Paper outlines the needs and requirements of the Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) industry with regards to safe operation and airspace integration of AWE Systems and lays out a number of recommendations related to policies and regulation.
The paper addresses policy makers and regulators from both the energy and the aviation sector, including ministries of energy, ministries of transport/aviation, national and regional civil aviation authorities, EASA, and the  European Commission. Its intention is to provide the context and framework of how the AWE sector plans to secure safe operation and airspace integration. So while the recommendations are mainly directed to authorities dealing with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), it will also help authorities that are in charge of energy-related installations to understand the specific requirements for “flying wind energy systems”.
This paper aims to trigger – and where possible contribute to – the development of international standards and guidelines for AWE. It does not intend to provide specific guidance for a particular system at a particular site, instead it is providing general guidelines for the AWE sector. The final goal is to ensure that AWE systems can and will be operated in a safe and economically viable way so that the AWE sector can contribute to reaching the renewable energy and climate targets. The uptake of AWE installations has been described in the AWE-White Paper developed by BVG Associates.
At this stage, the main focus is on Europe as the majority of AWE technology developers are based in Europe. However, the recommendations will ideally be applied world-wide to facilitate the global deployment of AWE. Therefore, consultations with e.g. FAA or other Aviation Authorities are advisable.
The AWE industry is fully committed to safe operations. This has been already underlined by the joint statement of the AWE developers on “Key Safety Principles for operation of experimental and developmental Airborne Wind Energy Systems” 2. The sector has also been working on the regulation for UAS and the Specific Operational Risk Assessment (SORA) over the last years including the definition of guidelines. 3 Moreover, the sector seeks full compliance with health and safety regulation.


White Paper of the Airborne Wind Energy Industry


AWE White Paper on safe operation and airspace integration_v2.0.pdf

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