An Israeli air force requirement to use external pilots during parts of its unmanned air system (UAS) operations will become redundant within the next two to three years, due to the increasing use of automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) systems.

Currently, the air force uses an external pilot who is in charge of the take-off and landing of its medium and heavy UAS. Once airborne, control of the air vehicle is transferred to a ground station.

Some of the UAS operated by the Israeli service already use ATOL systems, while its others are expected to be equipped with the technology by 2015.

Israeli air vehicles are also being fitted with "sense and avoid" equipment such as a traffic collision avoidance system that will allow the air force to fly its UAS in civilian airspace.

Tommy Silberring, general manger of Israel Aerospace Industries' Malat UAS division, says that by 2020 unmanned aircraft will require almost no restricted flight approvals from civilian air traffic controllers.

Source: Flight International