T6: Workshop: U-space for the Future Urban Air Mobility – Concepts and Challenges

Date and time: June 21, 2022, 14:00-18:00 h (half-day)

Organizers and Presenters

Aurelie Aurilla Arntzen
University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway

Esther Nistal Cabañas
Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España (ISDEFE), Spain

Ole Henrik Dahle
Indra Navia, Norway

Ivo Cré
Director Policy and Projects at POLIS, Belgium

Workshop Summary

Recent advances of technology, communication, and network have opened up new possibilities for the future urban air mobility (UAM) with new business opportunities and applications. Drones or Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) have gained a growing interest from both academia and professional. Potential applications are wide ranging from traffic monitoring to delivering pizza. According to a study from The Single European Sky’s ATM Research project “SESAR”, more than 200.000 commercial drone units will be in use in 2025 in Europe while in US more than 900.000 commercial and recreational drones are registered. Many organizations are developing new business applications with the focus on drones flying at low altitude in densely populated areas.

However, there are still several socio-technical challenges to overcome. For instance, how to create a secure and reliable integration of drones into the airspace structure, and with other aircrafts, in an urban environment? Considering the large number of drone operations expected, there is a need to better understand the sky limit and delineate the concept of drone density in a densely populated area. In addition, many factors potentially affecting drones’ flight (such as drone failure or wind turbulence) must be integrated into the flight planning. Emerging technology such as artificial Intelligence could address some of the listed challenges, but is it yet a reality? Although, most of organizations could see value chains in using UAV’s, there is still a need to understand the acceptance level of the citizens, as there are strong concerns related to security, safety, noise and so forth. Therefore, the role of Local authority should be better specified.

This interactive and collaborative workshop aims to bring academia, industry and police maker’s entities to a discussion on these different aspects. The workshop will provide an arena for exchanging ideas to better define a U-space for the future UAV’s operations.

Organization of the Workshop

This workshop is organized in the context of the SESAR Joint Undertaking project USEPE, funded under grant agreement No. 890738 by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The workshop is composed of presentations prepared from the organizers and from the papers submitted at the conference and collected as part of this session. A discussion will be organized after each presentation. Toward the end of the workshop, an interactive approach to the audience to collect a list of envisioned challenges for the urban air mobility and drones operations in an urban environment.


The workshop is targeted to an audience composed of diverse stakeholders, to enhance discussions including different viewpoints: academia, business and industry stakeholders, local and national authorities, civil society representatives. The result of the workshop could lead to a report that could be later on disseminate through several channels.