The CITRIS Institute for Drone education and Research (CIDER) at the University of California at Santa Cruz, in partnership with Monterey Bay Drone Automation and Robotics Technologies (DART), Airspace Integration, and ATA LLC, is developing the Central Coast Flight Information Exchange (CC-FIX). CC-FIX is a risk-based, federated approach to creating an “aeronautical information service-like” capability for the integration of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) into the airspace with the continued commitment to keep the airspace open, secure, and safe. This coalition believes that a functional CC-FIX will accelerate UAS and AAM related R&D, providing significant economic development opportunities for Central California and communities across the state.
The Central Coast Flight Information Exchange (CC-FIX) integrates federal laws and regulations, state and local advisories, public safety advisories, environmental sensors, weather sensors, data feeds, operations platforms, surveillance technologies and ground hazards (i.e. towers, buildings, population centers, etc.) through a public platform. Rather than needing to go to multiple places to access this important data, every person using a flight planning application that has a relationship with one of the participating approved UAS Service Suppliers will see CC-FIX data in their flight planning or control software or through the CC-FIX public website. That brings all this critical information together making it available in one place. If you ask any operator, especially in the public safety community, this is a huge leap forward in the communications and coordination needed to ensure that we take full advantage of the opportunities created by AAM and to integrate with the national airspace system safely.
The speed with which the UAS and AAM industry is developing continues to surprise and is putting pressure on needed changes to the fundamentals of aviation management. The FAA recognizes this in both its UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Concept of Operations (ConOps) and through the UAS Data Exchange Low Altitude Approval Notification Capability (LAANC) program; both of which acknowledge that existing air traffic management models alone do not adequately address the challenge of integrating UAS and other AAM transportation modalities into the national airspace. We’ve discovered through our current work that the best way to realize the infrastructure needed is to do it in a collaborative manner, working public-private partnerships across the industry and encouraging the creation of new relationships. This way we can actually get to UAS and AAM operations at scale much more quickly in a more cost-effective and resilient manner.
CC-FIX allows for multiple ways to connect and share information, including web-based and programmatic alternatives. The system is intentionally designed to leverage current standards, open-source technologies, and existing background intellectual property to keep costs low. As a robust, cloud-based service, the technology underlying CC-FIX can quickly meet growing statewide and national demand. The intuitive user interface requires only a brief orientation during new user onboarding. CC-FIX is consistent with the FAA’s vision of a “community-based” system of industry, federal, and state and local governments cooperating to manage the anticipated heavy volumes of UAS traffic at low altitudes. CC-FIX sits at the center of this ecosystem enabling USS and commercial UTM providers to consume and share authoritative state data as a public service.
URL for the Central Coast Flight Information Exchange (CC-FIX): http://cc-fix.com/
Coalition Partner Contacts:
University of California – Santa Cruz
CITRIS and the Banatao Institute
Baskin School of Engineering
Monterey Bay DART
Josh Metz, Executive Director
Chris Bley, CEO
Scott Drew, UAS Project Manager