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5G as a potential solution to enable connectivity and the recent European eVTOL demonstrations with Sascha Oliver Schott from EASA

Eszter Kovacs, Co-Founder and CEO of DroneTalks, had the chance to sit down with Sascha Oliver Schott, the Section Manager for Drones at EASA. During the interview, he talks about how EASA is facilitating a mutual understanding between telecommunications and drone organisations to support them as they look for solutions to enable airborne flight connectivity at scale. He also spoke about recent repetitive eVTOL demonstrations across Europe and how these can foster widescale acceptance. 

One of the main topics when it comes to the collaboration between telecommunications organisations and drone organisations is working on the level of connectivity between the two. Sascha told us that cellular connectivity appears to be one of the key enablers for very low-level drone operations in an urban context in the future because primary radar will likely not work in these contexts. That’s because usual transformers have their limitations in low-level airspaces.

He continues to hear that the goal for organisations is to find a cheap, sustainable and scalable solution for drone operations, and telecommunications and cellular networks present themselves as the potential solution since everyone is already carrying around and using mobile devices, but if this solution is implemented or not is up to the industry. That’s why EASA, as a safety agency, is working to assure that telecommunications companies can provide a minimum level of connectivity at a given flight centre. 

During Sascha’s first panel, he will ask stakeholders about low-level airspace traffic integration on the panel “Use of ADS-L over SRD860 frequency band and mobile networks to support low-level airspace traffic integration” Room D201 at 14:00- 15:10 today (22/03/2023) at Amsterdam Drone Week. Here, they have invited a number of different stakeholders to understand their level of preparedness and how they plan to support the expansion of the drone industry. 

Sascha is also facilitating similar discussions at his second panel during Amsterdam Drone Week called “Lessons learned from eVTOL/IAM demonstrations in European airspace” in room D201 from 15:15- 16:30 today (22/03/2023). He mentioned that we’re currently seeing many different demonstrations for eVTOL aircraft across Europe, which is likely going to have a few positive consequences, which include wider acceptance from communities.

During the last panel, he plans to ask a few key questions to a broad range of stakeholders in the IAM community to talk about the future of innovative air mobility. Sascha wants to use the panel as a chance for people to share their thoughts and opinions, along with expressing the added value that repetitive demonstrations of eVTOL and IAM operations can have.

About Sascha Oliver Schott

Sascha Oliver Schott has extensive experience in aviation safety and has been working with EASA for over 16 years. He is currently the Section Manager for Drones and is leading a team of seven in integrating UAS operations into the EU's aviation landscape. Prior to this role, Sascha served as the Air Operators Oversight Section Manager and the Foreign Operators Section Manager, where he was responsible for developing and overseeing EASA Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) and leading the EU's safety authorisation programme for foreign commercial airlines.

Sascha has also held positions as the Third Country Operators Section Manager and the Standardisation Team Leader at EASA. Before joining the agency, he worked with Aviation Quality Services as Head of the Audit Programme and Senior Lead Auditor/Examiner, where he established IATA's first accredited IOSA Audit Organisation (AO) and Endorsed Training Organisation (ETO).

In his earlier career, Sascha held various roles at SkyTeam Luftfahrtunternehmen GmbH, Eurowings Luftverkehrs AG and Ratioflug GmbH, working in quality management, flight operations and other related areas.

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