Five European airports host PODIUM U-space demonstrations

Five European airports participating in the SESAR Horizon 2020 PODIUM project have carried out U-space demonstration activities over three months since May 2019. The five sites include Hans Christian Airport with its temporary reserved airspaces for drones and its AFIS service; the Drones Paris Region with its 300 hectares of dedicated drone zone; Rodez-Aveyron airport with its class D CTR; the Netherlands RPAS Test Centre, Marknesse; and Groningen Airport Eelde with its class C CTR. This wide variety of operational environments and stakeholders, together with three different sets of national regulations, provides PODIUM partners with a wide range of test environments.

The drone flight demonstration performed at Rodez-Aveyron featured silent communication between drone and tower air traffic controllers through the display of an interactive drone track label on a controller working position (working in shadow mode) using an ATC collaborative interface developed by Airbus. Delair performed the flight trials with their DT18 fixed-wing drone in different beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) scenarios, in and out of the Rodez Class D controlled traffic region (CTR). The EUROCONTROL video is available at:

PODIUM uses observations from validation experts, debriefings, post-flight and post-demonstration questionnaires to analyse the ease-of use and benefits of U-space services and technologies. SESAR reports promising examples of increased efficiency of flight authorisations and safety benefits due to increased situational awareness. The PODIUM partners aim to deliver a demonstration report by end September, in time for a dissemination event at EUROCONTROL Brussels on the 17th of October 2019. The main PODIUM partners are EUROCONTROL, Airbus, Delair, DSNA, Drones Paris Region, Integra Aerial Systems, Naviair, Netherlands Aerospace Centre, Orange and Unifly.


(Image: Unifly)


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