Fast Track Innovation and Uptake U-space and Urban Air Mobility


Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

SESAR Joint Undertaking

Programme Description

The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is an institutionalised European partnership between private and public sector partners set up to accelerate through research and innovation the delivery of the Digital European Sky.

Programme Details

Identifier Code



Fast Track Innovation and Uptake U-space and Urban Air Mobility


U-space provides an unparalleled opportunity to experiment, test and validate some of the key architectural principles and technology enablers of the future digital European sky before incorporating them into the broader ATM ecosystem.
This topic is designed to accelerate the development of high-risk, high-gain projects with a view to shortening the time to market for disruptive and highly innovative solutions.

Detailed Call Description

  • Enabling safe and autonomous operations in all types of airspace. This involves the development of technological and operational enablers leading to the execution of meaningful demonstrations showcasing autonomous operations involving electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and large drones in all types of airspace (controlled, uncontrolled, suburban and urban areas).
  • U-space advanced services (U3). This will support more complex operations in dense areas and may include capacity management and assistance for conflict detection. New technologies, higher levels of automation and miniaturisation (including ML and AI, automated DAA functionalities and reliable means of communication) will enable a significant increase in operations in all environments and will reinforce interfaces with ATM/ATC and manned aviation.
  • U-space full services (U4). In particular, services offering integrated interfaces with manned aviation are required, to support the full operational capability of U-space. They will require very high levels of automation, connectivity and digitalisation, both for the drone and for the U-space system (R&I need: develop advanced U-space services).
  • Legal and financial aspects of U-space at U3 and U4 level. A detailed investigation is required of the legal and financial aspects of U3 and U4 U-space operations, including general and aviation law, and covering safety and security issues, liability issues, certification issues and U-space services financing models.
  • U-space services above very-low-level airspace. UAM covers all types of urban air operations that require the extension of U-space services beyond the very-low-level limit. Drone operators and UAM operations will require access to higher altitudes and areas close to commercial manned aviation (e.g. airports); at the same time, manned aircraft flying in or adjacent to very-low-level airspace could make use of U-space services.
  • Enabling UAM. The requirements of UAM operations are expected to be the most challenging for the U-space ecosystem. One of the key research questions is how to integrate autonomous operations over populated areas safely into complex and congested airspace environments, with operations involving vehicles interacting with U-space and conventional ATM services. The research should investigate how U-space can support the transition from piloted to autonomous operations. The evolution of U-space, together with its associated regulatory framework and standards, will need to be synchronised and coordinated with the development of the UAM concept of operations, future UAM services and the certification of UAM vehicles.
  • U-space services for general aviation aircraft and rotorcraft. General aviation aircraft and rotorcraft are expected to fly jointly with drones in some portions of airspace. In order to enable safe operations, U-space services will need to be provided to airspace users such as general aviation aircraft and rotorcraft users.
  • Advanced airborne capabilities for air–ground integration. This will involve developing the airborne technologies required to enable safe operations, advanced situational awareness and autonomous decision-making. Interoperable, performance-based CNS services in U-space need to be developed and validated in operational environments. Activities should focus on air–ground integration following a total-system approach.
  • Environmental sustainability and social acceptance. Work is required to ensure that the new operations enabled by U-space and UAM are acceptable to the public. This includes the identification and development of measures to reduce the environmental impact of U-space operations (noise, visual pollution and CO2), ensuring adequate levels of safety and security.

Call Total Budget


Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan

The funding rate is 70 % of the eligible costs regardless of the legal status of the Beneficiary.

Thematic Categories

  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Information Technology
  • Research, Technological Development and Innovation
  • Space
  • Transport

Eligibility for Participation

  • International Organisations
  • Other Beneficiaries
  • Private Bodies
  • Researchers/Research Centers/Institutions

Eligibility For Participation Notes

Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional dissemination obligations:

  • Beneficiaries must make proactive efforts to share on a royalty free basis, in a timely manner and as appropriate, all relevant results with the other grants awarded under the same call.
  • Beneficiaries must acknowledge and incorporate these obligations in the proposal, outlining the efforts they will make towards meeting them, and in Annex I to the Grant Agreement.

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


EU Contact Point


(Publish Date: 19/04/2022-for internal use only)